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Women in Indian infotech industry are just 1 percent of top exec posts

IT's a wrap! Winding down our week-long   focus on Women and Technology, with the real numbers......
Bangalore, March 9 2017: To accelerate the diversity and inclusion across the technology industry at large, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) recently   organized the 10thedition of NASSCOM Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2017  in Bangalore. On the side-lines , NASSCOM launched a report in partnership with The Open University (UK) titled “Women and IT Scorecard – India”,  to comprehend the profile of women in the Indian IT-BPM industry.
Global studies indicate that:
• Corporations with at least 10% women on boards have 2.5%-5% higher returns on equity
• Firms where women are at least 30% of C-Suite have 15% higher profitability than others
• Gender diverse teams perform significantly better than more homogenous teams

India’s IT-BPM industry currently employs nearly 3.9 million people, of which over 34% are women (~1.3 million). While this percentage is much better than the overall female share (24%) of India’s total workforce, an analysis indicates that over 51% of entry level recruits are women; over 25% of women are in managerial positions but less than 1 % are in the C Suite.  ( Ed: C-suite is industry jargon for top exec posts, C as in Chief Executive, Chief Technology Officer etc)
This report has been produced by a research team based at the OU [Parvati raghuram, Clem Herman, Esther ruiz-Ben and Gunjan Sondhi] - who are working on a persistent and highly important problem - the under representation of women in IT and Computing. The situation is particularly acute in the UK, and the comparative study of gender, skilled migration and IT in UK and India hopes to learn from the Indian experience where the proportion of women is much higher.
Key Findings
Employment in IT and IT services

• The number of women employed in the IT industry in India has seen a rapid increase over the past 10 years – nearly 30% of employees of our surveyed companies were women. This contrasts with stagnation or decline in the participation of women in IT in many Western countries.
• The majority of women employed in the IT industry in India are graduates with most of them holding a degree in Engineering and Technology.
• Men and women have similar levels of qualification at each stage of the career ladder within IT companies in India.
• The majority of women working in the IT industry in India are under 30 and single.
• Women are concentrated at lower career levels and there are fewer women in top positions in IT companies in India.
• Men and women start their careers in IT companies in India at similar ages but women progress more slowly, so men at senior positions are often younger than women at a similar level.

Employer challenges
• The two most common barriers that IT companies in India say they encounter in employing women are the challenge of combining work with family commitments and dealing with government’s regulations on working hours and parental leave.
• IT companies in India face a significant problem of retention following maternity leave, and are concerned about the levels of women not returning to work.
Qualifications in IT
• Women represented 46.8% of the postgraduates in IT and Computing during the academic year 2014-2015 in India. This is more than double the rate seen in the UK.
• Women represented approximately a quarter of the graduates in STEM disciplines in India in the academic year 2015-16. In the UK this figure is 40%, mainly due to high numbers of women studying biological sciences and subjects allied to medicine.
Recommendations The survey results suggest a number of ways in which companies can continue to move towards making workspaces more gender inclusive:
For individual companies Although high level policies may exist in companies, there is a need to train line managers in managing maternity so that they feel empowered to support and retain women employees.
For Industry Measures and policies supporting women’s progression within IT may have limited impact unless companies can act together across the whole IT sector to prevent women’s career stagnation at entry and middle IT career levels.
For other sectors The IT sector is leading the way in India in implementing policies and practices to ensure that women are given the opportunities and support required for their successful career advancement within the sector, by recognising that recruiting and retaining women requires a different approach than business as usual.
Full report here