The number of women in technology in the Indian workforce has risen by 10 per cent over the last decade and women constitute around 35 per cent of the workforce currently as per NASSCOM estimates. This number is higher than the 24 per cent gender ratio across all industries showing the increasing participation in STEM careers by women. About 50 per cent of the technology graduates in India are women, and the youth under thirty significantly contribute to gender parity. Even with these major advancements, 76 per cent of Indian women working in technology face lockdown barriers to career progression, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.
According to the report titled "Women in Tech", 54 per cent of Indian women feel that gender equality is more likely to be achieved through remote working structures. “While lockdown life was earmarked as a possible accelerator towards equal gender opportunity in IT positions, lingering social biases have hindered this potential breakthrough period,” it said.
38 per cent of Indian women working in the tech/IT industry, however, do prefer working at home to working in the office. 36 per cent of women respondents said that they have more autonomy when not working in an office. Though 44 per cent of women in technology have struggled to juggle work and family life since March 2020.
As per the report, when asked about the day-to-day functions distracting them from productivity or work progression, 54 per cent of female respondents said they had done the majority of cleaning in the home compared to 33 per cent of men. 54 per cent of respondents said that they had been in charge of home schooling compared to 40 per cent of men. While 50 per cent of women have had to adapt their working hours more than their male partner in order to look after the family.
While these examples of social disparity aren't tech specific, they do point towards a barrier that is preventing women from capitalising on the past year's shift to remote working. The research was conducted among men and women working in technology or IT roles in November to December 2020 across 19 global markets. The online survey involved 13,000 respondents across 19 countries including 500 from India.