In a country renowned for its booming IT industry, a crucial question looms large on the horizon: how can India’s IT sector retain women in the workforce? As technology continues to propel our world forward, it is disheartening to witness the underrepresentation of talented women in these transformative fields.
According to BRSR, India’s IT sector had the highest female participation rate of 30%, followed by financial services companies at 22.4%. The numbers are low compared with the male participation rate around 70%. Males are still leading in this field, where there are no physical work requirements. When It is considered as one of the most secure and compatible jobs for the women.
Read on to know more on this pressing issue head-on and offers compelling insights on why the retention of women in India’s IT sector is not just an aspiration but a necessity for progress.
Introduction – Overview of India’s IT Sector
India’s IT sector has been a major contributor to the country’s economic growth, with the industry becoming a key driver of job creation and export earnings. However, the sector faces challenges in retaining women in the workforce.
According to an analysis of voluntary Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting disclosures by 134 companies conducted by the CFA institute, the IT sector in India had the highest female participation rate of 30%, followed by financial services companies at 22.4%.
As the country’s largest employer of white-collar workers, the IT sector has the highest female representation, while FMCG and industrials occupy the last two spots in the list with 5.5% and 4.3%, respectively.
According to a Nasscom report, ‘Strategic Review 2023 — Priming for a ‘No Normal’ Future’, the IT industry will create 2,90,000 new jobs in FY2023, generating $19 billion in revenue. According to the report, there will be over 1,40,000 net additions of women employees in FY23, including 2 million women workers.
As an initial step toward understanding how Indian women fare at work, the CFA analysis analyzes a sample of voluntary BRSR disclosures. The BRSR disclosures are voluntary for companies during the financial year ending 31 March 2022 and compulsory for the top 1,000 companies ending 31 March 2023.
However, a deeper look at the data from the analysis shows that even in IT and Financial Services, women’s career progression is poor, according to the data. In financial services companies, women make up 21.7% of employees and only 15.9% of key management personnel (KMP), a 5.8 percentage point difference. This gap is more pronounced in the information technology sector, with 27% of employees and only 8.3% of key management personnel (KMP) making up the 18.7 percentage point difference.
Across companies in the sample, Indian women’s participation rates in the workforce averaged 12.7%, which means one woman worked for every eight people on the payroll.
The report highlighted that in the surveyed sample, 18.3% of women and 16.1% of men had higher turnover. This figure was mirrored across other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more women than men left their jobs. It identified one potential cause: that the burden of child or elderly care often falls unfairly on women, resulting in lowered participation in the Indian workforce. To address this issue, it is essential to track higher attrition among women.
Challenges Women Currently Face in India’s IT Sector
Currently, women in India’s IT sector face many challenges. One of the biggest challenge is the lack of opportunities for career growth. Many women find themselves in entry-level or low-level positions with little chance to move up within their company. This can be frustrating and lead to a feeling of stagnation.
Another challenge facing women in the IT sector is sexual harassment. Unfortunately, this is a pervasive problem in many workplaces in India, and the IT sector is no exception. Women have to contend with inappropriate comments and advances from male colleagues on a regular basis, which can make going to work extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, there is often a culture of silence around sexual harassment, making it difficult for women to speak up and get the support they need.
Another challenge faced by women in India’s IT sector is a general lack of workplace support. For example, there are often few or no on-site childcare facilities at IT companies, making it difficult for working mothers to balance their responsibilities. Additionally, many IT companies do not have policies in place that support breastfeeding mothers or provide adequate lactation breaks. This can make it very difficult for women who want to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
Strategies for Retaining and Hiring More Women in India’s IT Sector
- The first step is to understand the attrition rates of women in India’s IT sector.
- The second step is to put together a data-driven plan to improve female retention rates. This may include initiatives such as creating flexible work arrangements, on-site daycare, and increasing transparency around job opportunities and promotions.
- Additionally, companies should focus on hire more women at entry-level positions and developing mentorship and sponsorship programs to help them advance their careers.
- It’s important to create an inclusive culture where women feel like they can be themselves and are valued for their contributions. This can be done through things like unconscious bias training, ensuring a 50/50 split of male and female representation in company leadership, and promoting women into visible roles within the organization.
Conclusion: Benefits to Having More Women in the Indian IT Sector
There are many benefits to having more women in the Indian IT sector. One of the most important benefits is that companies are able to better meet the needs of their customers. When companies have a workforce that is representative of the population, they are able to understanding the needs of all their customers and better cater to them.
Another benefit of having more women in the Indian IT sector is that it helps to create a more positive work environment. Studies have shown that workplaces with gender diversity are more creative and innovative. They are also typically more harmonious, with less instances of conflict.
Increasing the number of women in the Indian IT sector can also help to address the skills shortage that currently exists in the country. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, bringing more women into the sector is a good place to start. By doing so, India will not only be able to better compete on a global scale, but will also be able to provide more opportunities for its citizens
India’s IT sector can create a conducive environment for women to work in the IT sector. This can include initiatives such as creating flexible working hours, providing parental leave and mentorship programmes for new female employees. Additionally, the IT sector can use diversity and inclusion training to reduce the gender gap and make workplaces more inclusive and welcoming for women. They can also consider measures such as increasing pay parity, offering career growth opportunities, creating a safe workspace environment and having an employee support system in place to promote diversity in their workforce.
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