Information technology has changed the face of India both as a service providing nation to the world and as a huge market within its borders. At a time when the economy is suffering pandemic pangs and women employees have reportedly exited the formal sector more than males, IT companies have taken a significant decision. To promote gender diversity in their campus, a few of the home-grown tech giants have decided to employ about 60,000 women this year through campus recruitment. That the recruitment would be made at entry-level perhaps makes the step more significant. At present about 34% of the employees in the software sector are women.
The IT industry is a showcase segment of the economy not only because it serves global clients from steel and glass buildings round the clock but also because it taps the fast expanding educated mostly urban middle class as its pool of human resources. A 2018 report of NASSCOM mentioned that global mobility helped women achieve men more success in developing managerial skills, establishing networks and overall career progression. While 55-62% of women surveyed reported success men, only 42-50% of men did so. The IT sector has been an engine of women’s participation in the nation’s workforce.
The tech focus on women would help correct the fact that women seem to have suffered more due to the pandemic and not only at the workplace. National Commission for Women have flagged that more domestic violence incidents have been reported during the pandemic.
The Indian labour force often gives conflicting signals about women. While ILO notes that female participation has been low, there are sectors where women are making new marks. In India one can find women truck drivers and fighter pilots – traditionally considered male bastions all over the world. Corporate India has women in leadership roles. The individual medals that have come India’s way in the Tokyo Olympics have been earned by women sportsters. The challenge is to increase the share of women in the blue-collar segment.
Download Money9 App for the latest updates on Personal Finance.