India is rapidly racing towards becoming the biggest tech market in the world. We are the third-largest scientific and technical manpower in the world with 162 universities awarding over 4,000 doctorates degrees and 35,000 post-graduate degrees annually.
However, IT forms the major chunk of the tech market and has the maximum available labour force.
Women only represent 34% percent of our tech industry workforce. For every three male engineers, there is only one female engineer working in technology.
More shocking than these paltry numbers is the fact that nearly 45% of women in tech quit core engineering fields and move to consulting, marketing and product management. This trend mirrors that more and more women quit demanding jobs to concentrate on domestic life and eventually settling for profiles where it becomes convenient for them to juggle both.
It is high time that workplaces take notice of this deficit and help create a woman-friendly environment. By woman-friendly, it does not mean to have a quota for women. Nor does it mean advancing a techie’s career simply based on the gender. Such moves only make male co-workers more hostile towards women. Instead, the companies should try to award equal pay and better job profiles to women who are returning to work after a maternity break. Options like flexible work hours, working from home, day-care facilities can be some such initiatives. Most women don’t go back to work after a break because they know they are out of touch. They also feel that the incentive to go back to work while managing the home is meagre.
But why is it so important that women get back to work?
Why should men be considerate towards women and empathize with their struggles? Here the answer goes beyond gender equality.
People have to realize that providing technical education requires a lot of resources.
To begin with, many parents are reluctant when it comes to letting their daughter pursue technical courses. They are least excited about their daughters choosing a profession which requires long working hours. Those who do get a chance struggle after marriage and maternity. So if women are unable to put those hard-earned skills to use, then it is a waste of both talent and resources.
The world is now openly addressing that woman are equally innovative and have the capacity to lead the technical market from the front. More and more women are making it to the top ranks in tech-based companies, and purely on the basis of their skills.
Like in every field, women in tech deserve equal opportunities and pay. This will empower them, and put them in charge of their lives and finances. The society needs to understand that it is time that a woman’s domestic priorities take a back seat. All women need, is a chance and a little encouragement at both home and professional front.