Slow rise in women numbers in top Indian IT firms

Women in India’s top five IT companies account for 35.4% of the total employee count, research by HR firm Xpheno shows. This has risen just 0.6 percentage points from March 2020, when it was 34.8%.

Xpheno looked at the numbers in TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL, and LTIMindtree. These firms had a total of 539,646 women at the end of March 2023, an increase of over 1.5 lakh since March 2020, while the total headcount in these companies increased by 5 lakh employees, from 10 lakh to a little over 15 lakh.
Xpheno co-founder Kamal Karanth says one of the factors causing the stagnation in numbers is that fewer women are enrolling for courses relevant to IT. “The proportion of women students in computer science and IT engineering courses had moved up from 42% of passouts in 2012 to 52% in 2018. There were more women engineers passing out than men in these two streams in 2017 and 2018. But this proportion has dropped since 2018, and hit a low of 40% in 2021 and 2022. So fewer women were available to be hired from campuses,” Karanth says.
Management consulting firm Aon says companies have not progressed much in increasing women’s participation in the workforce because policies are largely on sensitisation and forming committees instead of focusing on career development programmes. Ishita Bandyopadhyay, MD at Aon’s Assessment Solutions, India and Southeast Asia, says companies are not focusing on tracking the process of development, which is why gender diversity programmes are not impactful.

“It is not enough to only measure how many women were part of leadership programmes. We need to include metrics that track how many women completed the programme, what happened to their career progress within a year of the programme, after 3 years of the programme”

Source: GWFM Research & Study