Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Friday, November 14, 2014

India: Women in Technology, and Gender Equality

"There are millions of women working in the IT industry at various levels worldwide. However, it still remains a male domain." according to IDG Connect.
Photo: IDG Connect

According to the findings of the Harvey Nash CIO survey, just about 9% of all Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are women. More than a quarter of IT firms don’t have any woman in their technical teams. It’s a glaring disparity, but it’s very real. There are obviously very few females at the top in the Information Technology industry. That’s why it came as a huge surprise to a lot of people when it was announced that Marissa Mayer would be the next CEO of Yahoo Inc.

Surprisingly, it seems like the Indian story is vastly different. More and more women are not just coming out of their bedrooms and kitchens, but a lot of them are now key decision makers as well. Many are even leading the show in several IT companies.

India, a Great Paradox
This will probably come as a huge surprise to a lot of people because Indian society has traditionally been extremely male dominated. There is disparity everywhere. The male literacy rate is higher than the female rate, and there is a definite preference for the male child in large sections of the country. The female child is often seen as a liability (because the family has to marry her off). And lot of Indian marriages are still arranged.

That shouldn’t have been the case with India as it was one of the few countries with a lady as the head of state. Indira Gandhi was debatably India’s most powerful Prime Minister 1966-1977 and 1980-1984. Her daughter-in-law, Sonia Gandhi, has also been the President of the Indian National Congress, a very powerful political party for a long time. Yet girl children and women still tend to be neglected here in spite of this.

How IT Attracts the Ladies
Even with so much neglect and disparity, women have still been able to break into the top levels of management in IT companies in India, and some of these firms are really large ones.

Take for instance Neelam Dhawan who is the Managing Director of HP-India. Neelam has made HP India's top PC vendor. She has taken the firm to places no man before her could.

Then there is Sangita Singh who has been given the responsibility of heading the $700 million Healthcare and Life Sciences business of Wipro. She has plans to take it to $1 billion in the next two to three years. Sangita was the marketing head of this large IT firm before taking over this division.

There is Rekha Menon too, who plays a key role in the board of Accenture. Then there is Aruna Jayanthi as well, the CEO of Capgemini. Her aim is to make it the best-in-class offshore business player.

There are plenty of other examples of ladies leading the show and in key roles in Information Technology. Of course women are breaking into top positions in non-IT firms as well, but Information Technology is often leading the way, because more women tend to be given responsibility.

Indra Nooyi is the CFO of Pepsico, Naina Lal Kidwai is the Group GM and Country Head of HSBC India, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is the CMD of the US$50 million biopharmaceutical company Biocon, Chanda Kochar is the MD & CEO of India’s largest private bank ICICI, Indu Jain is the Chairperson of India’s leading media group “Times”, Sulajja Firodia Motwani is the MD of Kinetic Motors, Ekta Kapoor is the JMD & Creative Director of Balaji Telefilms, and Shahnaz Hussain is the CEO of Shahnaz Herbals Inc.

Source:IDG Connect