NASSCOM for flexible work atmosphere for women raising family

National Association of Software and Services Companies Chairman Harsh Manglik said one of the major issues facing the IT-BPO industry was that of women wanting to raise their families at some stage.

"So, during the time that they are gone, if they are interested (to work during that period), we need to look for...can we offer them an opportunity to stay engaged..so perhaps some flexible way...,"he said at the NASSCOM-organised "Diversity and Inclusivity Summit 2010" here.

Harsh Manglik, who is also Chairman & Geography Managing Director, Accenture India, observed that the "biggest barrier" is that once women take a break and come back to the profession after a few years, it's (the work atmosphere) is "intimidating" as they feel "outdated" and "disconnected" and fallen behind in technology competency.

He stressed that while women accounted for about 30 per cent of the IT-BPO industry workforce, the number of those rising to mid and senior-level positions needs to accelerated.

NASSCOM officials said that women accounted for more than 30 per cent of entry-level workforce of the industry and that overall, there were six lakh women working in the IT-BPO industry in India today.

"But one major gap still remains. We still have less than four per cent women as CEOs and CXOs in our industry. Where do the women disappear. Let's explore this," Sucharita Eashwar, Senior Director, NASSCOM, said at the beginning of the two-day event.

She said the shared child-care services model in IT hubs has worked well and has addressed the major reason why women drop out of the workforce in mid-careers.

Managing Director of Britania Industries, Vinita Bali, said diversity was more than just about increasing women workforce and about having certain percentage of women in the company.

It is about if the "voice" of the women is being heard and if women who are part of an organisation know "what's happening" in the organisation and functions (roles) that they represent.  "Diversity without inclusion is a blunt sword", she observed.

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