Mumbai: Despite all the development in tech and diversity, the gender gap in computing is getting worse by day. Well, that bit of unwelcome news comes from a survey by Belong, an outbound hiring solution based in Bangalore.
According to the survey, the overall representation of women in the engineering workforce of IT firms is just 34 percent. The survey, Gender Gap in India’s Tech Industries, looked at all tech companies in the country and found that there is only one woman engineer as against three men engineers, leading to the fact that the Indian technology industry has just 26 percent women in engineering roles.
The survey was done with ITES companies with over 50 employees and the data was collected from around three lakh women. This reinforces the assumption that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs attract fewer women.
It was also noted that while the transition of men to managerial positions wasusually after six years of experience, women moved to such roles only after eight years of experience.
Further, the survey has revealed that as many as 45 percent of women move out of core engineering roles after close to eight years. After quitting engineering, these women mostly move to marketing, product management or consulting.
Apparently, there are more women in software testing roles (a less sought after skill) compared to core programming roles. This is the case even though the absolute number of jobs in software testing is significantly less than programming, it added. For every 100 testing jobs, there were 34 women compared to 66 men.
When it came to hardcore programming roles, the ratio changed to 25:75, it added. The survey found that if 29 percent women start working in a given year, the percentage drops to a dismal seven percent after 12 years. The biggest drop-off in numbers is after the first five years, it said.
One of the major reasons for this is that women often take a break to start a family around this time in their lives, and many do not return to the workforce, it said. There have been initiatives by many big companies to tap these lost talents and 'bring back' these women, it said.
From leadership development programs and special incentives for referrals ofwomen candidates, Indian IT companies are using innovative techniques to hire and retain tech talent of the opposite gender, it added.