Technology is a great enabler and it is no wonder that women have become voracious consumers of technology, with more than half of the technology purchasing done by women. But like most other sectors, the inventions, innovations, manufacturing, servicing, maintaining, marketing and selling of technologies are largely being done by men. For women working in the technology space, there is still a wide gap to bridge.
The IT-BPM sector in India is the largest employer in the organized sector. According to NASSCOM, out of 3.5 million direct employees, women form 34% of it. However, that figure drops dramatically to 5-6% when it comes to senior management roles. This widely mirrors the global trend. This has prompted discourse within the Tech community to search for reasons and the possible ways to bring more diversity.
Gender pay gap, lesser accessibility to critical roles and assignments, prejudices and biases together with maternity and child care, rigid expectations of gender role and multiple and sometimes competing roles at home and work are major factors contributing towards an unequitable workplace and industry for women.
Many organizations have started practicing strong support and mentoring for their women employees, helping them break prevalent barriers to career advancement. These include maternity support, flexible work arrangements, championing potential women leaders throughout their careers, and simply hiring more women.
As per the latest UGC Annual Report, out of women who enroll for higher studies, starting from under-graduation, only 10% opt for engineering and technical courses. There is hence an urgent need to focus on the girl students encouraging them to take up science subjects in schools and colleges. A large pool of young women will help in creating a robust pipeline of women workforce.
Accenture has always recognized women as core partners in the business. Providing support and mentoring female employees is integrated at every stage. Accenture has more than 150,000 women representing nearly 40% of the global workforce. In India, women account for nearly one third of Accenture's workforce.
Some of the Accenture programs to attract, retain and advance women include Women’s Mentoring Programs, Accenture Women’s Network, Employee Resource Groups and Success Forums. Structured training is provided to sensitize the workforce on inclusion and diversity. A mix of virtual learning and in-person training programs are also made available to help women employees advance their careers.
To celebrate the women in technology, attract more women talent and inspire the current girl students to integrate them with technology and introduce it early on in their careers, Accenture has joined hands with SHEROES. We will be bringing stories from the tech world in the coming months.