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In the IT industry, women rock!

George Iype | July 27, 2005

The one area where India is way ahead of the United States is in the empowerment of women in the information technology services arena.

Compare figures from India's technology majors and IT industry bodies -- such as the National Association of Software and Services Companies -- and studies from the Information Technology Association of America to check this out.

The ratio of women in IT services in India is rising steadily, whereas the percentage of women IT workers in the US has been declining over the years.

How many people does the Indian IT & ITES industry employ?

More than a million, according to the latest Nasscom survey. The landmark figure of 1 million was crossed in the fiscal year 2004-05.

The software and services industry employ 6.97 lakh (697,000) people as against 2.42 lakh (242,000) employed during the previous year. The employment growth in the ITES-BPO industry has been the highest in the last one year. The sector currently employs 3.48 lakh (348,000) people, as against the 242,000 it had in fiscal year 2003-04.

What is the men-women ratio of IT professionals?

Seventy six per cent of the software professionals in IT companies are men, whereas 24 per cent are were women.

However, Nasscom says this ratio is likely to be 65:35 (men:women) by the year 2007. This ratio is reversed in the ITES-BPO sector where the ratio of men to women is 31:69.

And what is the scenario in the US IT industry?

According to a recent study by the Information Technology Association of America, the percentage of women workforce in the IT industry in the country has declined by 18.5 per cent since 1996.

That is, in 1996, while 41 per cent of the IT workers in the US were women, the number of women IT employees decreased to 32.4 percent in 2004.

The study said: "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 falls into the administrative job categories that have experienced significant overall declines in recent years."

But in contrast, IT majors in India are hiring more and more women.


Take for instance, India's IT bellwether Infosys Technologies. Infosys employs 39,806 people, as per the first quarter results. And the number of women employees at Infosys is 8,262.

"The male to female ratio in our company is 76: 24," an Infosys spokesperson told

"Looking at the previous few years' data, there has been a steady increase in the women workforce. We see that the percentage of female population has grown steadily from 17 per cent in March 2001 to 24 per cent in June 2005. During the same period the number of females grew from 1,691 to 8,262," the spokesperson said.

In 2002, 17 per cent of the Infosys employees were women. This figure rose to 19 per cent in 2003, 22 per cent in 2004 and 24 per cent in 2005.


IT giant Wipro Technologies also has a similar women empowerment story to tell. The ratio of women workers in Wipro rose to 21.22 per cent in April 2005 compared to 18.75 per cent in April 2004.


IT consultants expect the ratio of women in IT services in India to rise steadily in the coming years due to a variety of reasons.

"More and more women are entering professional engineering streams such as computer sciences and electronics. And the Indian women in the IT fields are very committed and they acquire software skills quite fast just like the men," points out Madhumita Raghavan, an IT consultant based in Bangalore.

Raghavan says that earlier many IT companies feared to recruit women because many of them would end their careers with marriages. "That is no longer the case with women in the IT industry these days. Fewer women are dropping out because of marriages," she said.

Will the men-women ratio in IT services in the country reach the 50: 50 mark? "It is a possible scenario in the few years," added Raghavan.

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: BPO Must stop

Enough BPO must stop and the western countries should realize soon that the transfering of Jobs to India , China etc is a big mistake... ...

Posted by Kuppaswamy

Sub: women rock but with that family life & industries are rocked!!!!

is the picture really that gloomy as given here?? I doubt it. Being working in a giant software firm with 40,000 employees, i have observed ...

Posted by Avinash jha

Sub: May the best win

Hi, We have been always surrounded by environments of castesism and divided policies.It is regretable to note that even the technological advancements has not been ...

Posted by Rajappa

Sub: So What's So Strange About It?

When all the IT Enabled services are coming to India, it is very obvious that India is going to outsmart America in this sector. One ...

Posted by Ambuj


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