The technology sector in the country is hiring more women at the entry level, boosting hopes of gender parity. According to a the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) report, women now outnumber men at the entry level in the largely export-driven information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector. The report is based on a joint survey by Nasscom and the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It claims that 51 per cent of all entry level positions in the IT-BPM sector are filled by women.
Their chances of getting a job are also higher than men. Also, more women are applying for jobs in the sector — up to 28 per cent of the applicants from five per cent four years ago. The report added that women employees are maturing from managing support roles to handling core business for their respective companies. “Women in overall managerial roles as a proportion of total women employees has increased by two per cent since FY12,” it added. The Indian IT-BPM sector employs around 3.7 million people directly, of which, around 34 per cent are women. Of the 1.3 million women technology professionals, 28 per cent are the primary bread earners for their families. “The industry has made significant progress to promote gender inclusivity,” said B V R Mohan Reddy, chairman, Nasscom. “At Nasscom, we believe that development is never complete unless it is across all sections though participation and inclusion of people irrespective of their gender, creed or colour… I hope that we will continue with this trend in supporting more women to break the glass ceiling.” While at the fresher and mid-level, the ratio of women employees as compared to men may be looking encouraging, the industry still has a long way to go in terms of grooming them to take up leadership positions. Despite what the Nasscom survey found, women still have a far lower share in leadership roles. This is aggravated by the fact that women continue to resign at a higher rate than men with the change in their personal priorities. “At Accenture, we made certain policy changes when we found that a lot of women are dropping out just when they were hitting middle management, for various personal reasons — either because they got married or their spouses got transferred, or when they had children. So we had to take a very hard look and say what are we going to do about hiring women and having them drop off,” said Rekha Menon, chairman, Accenture India. Accenture is one of the first few companies in India to have introduced an extended maternity leave of up to eight months, including five months (22 weeks) of paid leave. “Challenges faced by women need to be addressed in a systematic manner, requires sustained CEO focus,” the report said. “Disparity with men exists, though gap is steadily narrowing.”
* Indian IT/BPO industry employs around 3.7 million people
* Share of women in IT workforce around 34%
* 28% women employees are primary bread earners
* 51% of entry level positions filled up by women candidates
* Women have 50% more chance of getting job offers than men
* Women continue to resign at a higher rate than men as they juggle multiple priorities which hinders their growth to leadership roles