Ratio of women in IT industry rising steadily

By agencies   |   Monday, 04 July 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Its not just in Western countries that IT industry has employed more women. The trend is changing in India too. The proportion of women in the Indian IT services workforce is rising steadily, and may touch 30 percent this year compared to 24 percent in 2004. "We are definitely seeing an increase in the ratio of women in the Indian software services industry. In 2004, the proportion of male versus female workers in IT services was 76:24, while in contrast, in the BPO industry, the ratio stood at 31:69. Based on our interaction with various IT companies, we estimate the ratio this year would stand at about 70:30 in IT software services," Kiran Karnik, President of Nasscom, said. This is quite interesting as increasing number of women in such a segment indicates that more women are entering professional streams such as engineering, B. Tech and M C A. For instance at Wipro Technologies, the ratio of women workers rose to 21.22 percent as on April 2005, compared to 18.75 percent in the previous fiscal. According to D.K. Srivastava, Vice-President (Corporate HR), HCL Technologies, the company expects its women workforce to exceed 20 percent of the software services workforce in the financial year ended June 2005, against 18 percent in the previous year. "Overall, women with domain expertise in verticals such as banking and hospitality are acquiring software skills and entering the IT space. We expect the ratio of women professionals in HCL Technologies to further rise by a few percentage points in 2005-06." "There was a time when marriage meant the end of career for women, but now you see less women dropping out," said Karnik. In contrast, the percentage of women in the U.S. IT workforce has declined by 18.5 percent since 1996, from a high of 41 percent in 1996 and 32.4 percent in 2004. "Employers hired men at a higher rate than women between 2003 and 2004. The declining representation of women is largely due to the fact that one out of every three women in the IT workforce fall into administrative job categories that have experienced significant overall declines in recent years," the study said.