IT Now Has Many Women, But Very Few On Top

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 28, 2017

women tech

The number of women employees in the USD 155-billion IT industry has gone up significantly, as companies seek to improve their gender diversity ratio, companies continue to struggle retaining top management, believe experts. It has been observed that an HR-friendly policy along with top management support can certainly make a difference.

A new Nasscom report that aimed to determine the differences in participation rates between women and men in the IT-BPM workforce in India, and also benchmarks these within an international context and figured out that almost one-third of the employees in the sector are women — working across different job roles.

The Indian IT and BPM sector employs 3.9 million people, according to Nasscom. In 2017, it is estimated that the number of firms that have more than 20% women at senior level will increase to nearly 60%, and nearly 51% of firms will have more than 20% of women at C-suite level. There is however a long way to go.

Nasscom in its report points out that corporations with at least 10 per cent women on company Boards have 2.5–5 per cent higher returns on equity, firms where women are at least 30 per cent of C -suite have 15 per cent higher profitability than others.

Read more: Women In Technology: Still A Long Way To Go

The challenge however is while the industry has been traditionally getting a sizeable people of women employees at entry levels since the last half a dozen years or so, a lot of them do not make it to the top. As a recent commentary published on McKinsey Quarterly suggested, researchers further take a look into workplace gender equality.

While finding the answer to why are women still underrepresented at every level of today’s corporations, authors Dominic Barton, Sandrine Devillard, and Judith Hazlewood mention: “We believe there are several reasons the gender gap so stubbornly persists. For one, in many organizations, senior leadership has only recently committed itself to addressing this challenge.”

Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice-President, Nasscom, said its report can be used by the IT-BPM industry as a scorecard to benchmark their gender inclusive policies and practices. “The companies are moving in the right direction with regard to their gender inclusive policies but a lot more can be done,” she added.

While there is still a long way to go to close the gender gap in IT industry, the Nasscom report clearly indicates that specific HR policies and practices such as conveyance, flexible working hours, parental leave, anti-harassment, healthcare, and an emphasis on recognising and supporting women’s needs will lead to the positive trend. This, will not only help increase the participation of women in the tech industry, but will get more women in the C-suite.