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Home > India > Business > Business Headline > Report

BPO security issue doesn't ruffle women

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | December 17, 2007 16:26 IST

A lot has been spoken about the security of women working in IT and BPO sectors. The issue came to the forefront following a rape and murder of a woman working in a BPO in Bangalore a couple of years back. The incident had raised a huge hue and cry and many had even opined that women would think twice before joining a BPO firm.

However, it seems women have come to terms with the incident and have started treating it as a one-off case. A survey conducted by the Nasscom states that at least 68 per cent of the women from across the country working in IT and BPO firms did not think security was a concern. 

Padma Nambiar, a BPO employee in Bangalore, says that initially she was scared to go to work soon after the rape and murder. "However, gradually we came to terms with it. Many of my colleagues blamed the media for the overkill. Such incidents occur in every sector. We realised that there was no point in cribbing and that it was best to move on."

Nasscom had undertaken a study to explore problems and myths about women working in the IT and BPOs. The survey, apart from dealing with the security aspect, dealt with gender sensitivity at workplace. The survey states that at least 43 per cent of the women in the BPOs felt that their male colleagues were not gender-sensitive. They think that better gender-beneficial policies could be facilitated if women were more involved in decision-making.

The women point out that having them in key positions would be better as they would have policies which are women-oriented. A woman would be in a better position to understand problems faced by women, they felt. According to them, the main reason for a high attrition rate among women in IT and BPOs  was not because they were unable to cope up with the pressure. Mainly personal problems force women to quit. More women-oriented policies would bring down the attrition rate.

The Nasscom report, while taking into consideration all these aspects, has recommended it would be in the interest of the women to involve, younger, middle-level women in career-planning workshops. Nasscom feels at least 45 per cent of the entire staff should be represented by women.

Conducting gender-sensitisation workshops for men and women and developing a support system to strike a balance between work and personal life would cut the attrition rates. The report also recommends setting up more teams with women and also a tele-working policy for the women.