Nasscom refutes Assocham survey on loss in BPO, IT/ITeS productivity

Nasscom recently refuted an Assocham survey suggesting a third of ITeS/BPO women employees either significantly scaled down their working hours or quit their jobs, following the Delhi gang-rape incident.

“We’ve asked companies in the NCR, the place where the incident had its strongest reaction and they denied any dropout of women from their workforce. We would like to place on record that there hasn’t been any large scale drop out at work places by women,” Nasscom Senior Vice-President Sangeeta Gupta told Deccan Herald in connection with the industry body’s summit held in the city recently.

“Having said that, we certainly put down rules to ensure security of nearly 8,00,000 women working in the sector such as the first pickup or the last drop (in the company cab) cannot be woman. Diversity initiatives (in IT and ITeS) are at a matured level and we ensure the systems are in place for it to progress,” she said.

Diversity initiatives

As for the diversity initiatives, Sangeeta said the focus in recent times has shifted from the entry-level roles to training women for the managerial and mid-level careers in IT and ITeS companies.

“If you look at the entries for the (diversity and inclusion) awards this year, you will see that the focus of many companies has been on how to help women advance their career beyond upper managerial level. As for breaking the glass sealing (getting into the boardrooms and to the top echelons of companies), we’re not yet there but there has been considerable progress,” she said.

According to the Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF) survey released last week, productivity amongs women was hit by about 40 per cent at the Delhi/NCR region, as well as in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Pune following the incident. It said women left work before sunset fearing for their safety.
Nasscom Foundation’s CEO Rita Soni said that the organisation has recruited 98 people in a year through its job fairs and direct recruitment in the member companies.

“We conduct sensitisation programmes and expose companies to the business needs of recruiting persons with disability. This is no longer CSR and we have examples of people working at important roles in IT companies,” she said.

Sam Tharaporevala, Director of Mumbai-based Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC), who presented a session on inclusion and its benefits at the forum, admitted progress towards equal opportunity employment has been slow.

“Besides the openness in the industry, which is still work in progress, we sometimes have problems supplying the right kind  of candidates in large numbers,” he said.
“In many companies, English has been primary requirement and to train the disabled, like so many other marginal groups in English, has been a challenge NGOs are grappling with. However, improving facilities such as accessible software environment, access to Internet and other basic facilities like ATM etc will surely present a positive picture for the future,” he said.

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