NASSCOM launches 2nd Edition of ‘Women and IT Scorecard – India’ at its Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2018, themed ‘Full Steam Ahead’
Chennai, 13th March, 2018: With the imperative to improve diversity and equality levels across the technology industry, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) today kickstarted the 11th edition of NASSCOM Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2018. At its flagship press conference, NASSCOM launched the second Women and IT Scorecard – India report in partnership with The Open University (UK), to obtain new insights into the profile of women in the Indian IT-BPM industry.
The analysis found that the Indian IT sector is on the right path towards recruiting and retaining more women in leadership roles, forecasting that half of firms will have over 20% women in the C-suite level, which is set to increase to nearly 60% at the senior level. Insights showed that on average, women working in IT are more highly qualified than men, and that more companies reported a higher proportion of young women aged between 30-35 in C-Suite roles than men (4.5%) in the same age group. HR policies such as conveyance, flexi-work, work-from-home, parental leave, anti-harassment, healthcare, have led to the positive trend.
Global mobility plays an important role in the acquisition of skills and career opportunities
As highly-skilled Indians increasingly find work in advisory and development roles abroad, the scorecard shows that global mobility has helped women gain success in developing managerial skills, establishing networks, and overall career progression. On all three levels, 55-62% of women surveyed reported success, higher than the 42-50% reported by men. Further, single women taking assignments abroad tend to be much younger than their male counterparts, with a mean age of around 28-years old vis-à-vis 34 years-old for men. Thus, more support must be given to mothers and wives who wish to undertake international assignments by providing family support.
HR policies supporting maternity and shared childcare are critical to retaining female talent
While the number of women in the highest-ranking positions has been steadily increasing since 2012, maternity- and childcare-related constraints to progression remain. The report found that employers are unconcerned about maternity-related expenses such as paid leave, however, they consider the low rates of mothers returning to work to be relevant. Employers must play a crucial role in ensuring that women are provided leadership opportunities and experience, as well as support maternity to empower, and retain their female talent. It recommends more practices to encourage and enable parents to share responsibility for childcare, to help female talent reach the top of the career ladder.
Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice President, NASSCOM said, “It has become conventional wisdom that firms that prioritize gender parity outperform others. It is our collective responsibility to develop women’s career to executive roles for the better of the industry at large. This report can be used by IT-BPM companies as a scorecard to benchmark their gender inclusive policies and take heed from industry best practices.”
However, the findings suggested that women tend to come from more privileged backgrounds than men working in the IT sector, suggesting that more work needs to be done bring social diversity on course with the trend towards gender parity. Recruitment strategies such as career-entry pipelines and apprenticeship are recommended to harness hidden talent among less privileged social classes.
NASSCOM® is the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT-BPM industries in India. NASSCOM is a global trade body with more than 2700 members, which include both Indian and multinational companies that have a presence in India. NASSCOM’s member and associate member companies are broadly in the business of software development, software services, software products, consulting services, BPO services, e-commerce & web services, engineering services and animation and gaming. NASSCOM’s membership base constitutes over 95% of the industry revenues in India and employs over 3.97 million professionals.