INDIAN WOMEN IN THE IT INDUSTRY
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and the founder of LeanIn.Org.
Did you know that around 35% of the IT workforce in India is women? The majority of these women being below the age of 30 years. However, as we look at mid and senior management positions, the number of women starts falling significantly. The challenge is to try to retain these women to stay in the industry, and reflect the much-needed diversity and excellence required to power India's growth engine. As we all know, a diverse workforce (in terms of gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, and abilities) spells success for any company as the talent pool is wider and comes with unique perspectives & accomplishments. In India, NASSCOM and the Indian government have taken measures to retain women in the industry with the 2017 Maternity Bill, as well as toughening up on the issue of sexual harassment in the workspace. Indian businesses must report sexual harassment incidents, as well as their resolution in their firm's annual returns. Companies are mandated to establish sexual harassment committees and conduct awareness programs to deal with this rising issue. The Indian government has also mandated that each company must have a minimum of one lady board member, which should create diversity in the boardrooms.
Why do women drop out of the IT industry
1. Marriage and/or maternity
2. Sexual harassment or discrimination in offices
3. Being overlooked for promotions, increments or lucrative projects
4. Macho work culture prevailing
5. Long working hours
6. Domestic situations
Mr RS Maan, Global CRO of Codleo Consulting says "Our strength as a company lies in our diversity belief, and among our strongest performers are our band of young women who are leading the charge especially in the digital tech division". In order to address the issue of women in the IT industry, the company's social initiative - Codleo Foundation, is conducting free career courses for the youth of India especially focusing on women, so that they can enter/re-enter the IT workforce, after a break for any reason, or re-skill to join the band of techies making the country proud.
Women need an environment of encouragement, mentorship, and level playing field to stay and work in any industry. This is across geographies and is not limited to India or the IT industry. Give wings to women and watch them take to the skies. There is no stopping them if the government, the industry come together to foster the right environment. After all, Mrs. Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister of this great country in the 1960s , when the rest of the world didn't have women in positions of power.