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Oh Baby! Why women can’t break the IT ceiling | Bangalore Mirror

A Nasscom report claims that only 1% of IT chiefs are women, and that's because bosses feel having a baby changes a woman's priorities


For decades, women tried to shatter the corporate glass ceiling and eventually, to an extent, succeeded. But now, just as they're breathing that rarefied air up there, Ashok Pamidi, regional head - Karnataka, Nasscom, has started bursting bubbles. According to Pamidi, the IT sector has few women bosses because most women don't return to work once they've delivered a baby. And unless you're an obstetrician, you should think long and hard about that statement.


With women filling a measly one per cent of top-level management positions in the IT/ITes sector, companies are adopting various new policies to encourage women to leave a significant mark at the highest level. But the problem could well be that the preferred nuclear family system in Bengaluru does not provide a support system for new mothers. Working couples also find it difficult to find daycare centres that meet their exacting needs.
Pamidi said, "IT/ ITes companies have started modifying the workplace to suit new mothers. Some IT/ITes companies in Bengaluru have started daycare and lactation centres on their office premises. Some companies who cannot have a centre on the premises have tie-ups with playschools nearby."
There is also an increasing number of cases of women being given extra leave (more than the usual 100 days) and also flexible timings during and post-pregnancy.
Ashok said, "Companies are trying their level best to create a more inclusive environment for the sake of their women employees. Employees - especially men - are being sensitised to support their women colleagues."
Pamidi added: "Companies are now looking into all aspects to support their women in terms of security and transportation as well."

A Convenient Creche

A total of 38 per cent of Tesco HSC's 6500-strong workforce consists of women. The company assessed that having a creche onsite would encourage women employees to return to work after a maternity leave. The service is offered at a highly subsidised rate. The creche admits close to 100 children.
Anju Sethi, head, learning and development at Tesco HSC, said, "There are two creche facilities for children of different age groups, run through certified child care providers. The assurance of having trained caregivers for children allows our employees to focus on work without any worries." Tesco also has a policy that allows female employees to extend their maternity leave up to 12 months.


Nasscom numbers

34% Women of the around 9 lakh employees in the IT/ ITes sector in Bengaluru

1% Top management position

24% Work at management levels

63% are executives, senior executives and entry level employees

63 % women employees below the age of 35