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India's tech sector boosting female jobs even as barriers remain

[MUMBAI] India's technology services sector is hiring more women but females still assume just a fraction of senior roles, according to a joint study by the industry's trade group and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

About 51 per cent of entry-level jobs went to women in 2015, according to the report on an industry dominated by companies like Infosys Ltd. and Wipro Ltd. However, the proportion of females in management increased by just 2 percentage points, the National Association of Software and Service Cos and PWC said without giving a specific ratio.

Fierce competition for talent is helping dismantle some entry barriers and has made IT services increasingly "women- centric," in a country whose track record on gender equality remains uneven. Debates over diversity have simmered for years in a global technology industry dominated by males, particularly among executive and engineering jobs.

"While gender equality has been established at entry levels, women still constitute a far lower share" of senior management roles, BVR Mohan Reddy, Nasscom's chairman, said in a statement. "The trend of women resigning at a higher rate than men as their personal priorities change is hampering this growth."

Across industries, the share of women working has declined from what was already one of the lowest levels among emerging market economies.

Nasscom's report made no mention of pay disparities - a common complaint of working women in the industry. But women now have a 50 per cent higher chance of getting IT and back-office job offers, according to the report entitled "Gender Diversity & Inclusivity trends in the IT-BPM Sector." 

Women now constitute 28 per cent of entry-level job applicants, a 5 percentage point jump from 2012, according to the report released at Nasscom's annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Bangalore.


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