Women discrimination in IT sector in India

There are many research works, which helps in understanding the contribution of the females in the IT sector of India. It is found in several research works that women have a significantly low percentage and contribution in the IT sector. There are nearly 3 times more male engineers and IT professionals in India in comparison to females (Nagpal, 2019). On average, nearly 26% of total employees in the engineering and IT sectors are females. This data indicates that IT companies operating in India prefer hiring male employees more in comparison to female employees. As far as the contribution of the women is considered in the IT industry of India, the study also suggests that due to fewer female employees in the IT sector, there is the very little contribution of women. The male employees take most of the business decisions in these companies and they are the prominent executioners for the tasks and IT operations. For this reason, it can be said that the IT sector in the Indian subcontinent

is mainly male dominated (Cooke, 2014). Organizations in the industry give less preference to recruit and hire female employees. In addition to this, there are many studies in which it is found that organizations operating in the IT sector of India give less preference to the females for holding to a managerial position in the company than male employees.

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The above figure helps understand the recruitment and selection of the females in the IT industry of India at different positions and organizational hierarchy (NASSCOM, 2019). It can be analysed from the figure that most of the females in the IT sector of India are considered suitable for entry-level jobs in companies. Also, it is found that there are very fewer percentages of females in the IT sector of India at the middle manager level, senior manager level and top-level or C-suite. It can be understood with this data that females in the IT sector of India acquire fewer opportunities to establish their careers as a top-notch hierarchy in organizations. On the contrary, they are found contributing to organizational success only by working at entry-level and individual contribution jobs (Mitter, 2019). Female employees taking decisions in organizations are found only 2-7% in IT companies in India such as Accenture and many more. Therefore, it can be analysed that the contribution of

females in the IT sector of the country is miserable, which may vary in different organizations. As per the research work accomplished by Mohapatra, (2012), there are many scenarios and incidents in the IT sector of India, when approaches of female discrimination are seen. It is found in the study that the female employees have accused companies such as Microsoft, Accenture, HCL and many others of adopting practices that favour the growth of make employees. In addition to this, the IT sector of the country is also reported to have practices and approaches, which suggest different types of discrimination (Bhattacharyya and Ghosh, 2012). These types may include direct discrimination in which female employees are barred from acquiring growth opportunities due to their gender. Along with this, indirect discrimination is also observed in which female employees in the IT sector of India face difficulties in acquiring growth opportunities due to their gender. Not only this, but there is also evidences that approaches of harassment and victimization are exhibited by many small and large enterprises in the IT sector of the country.


Mittal, (2012), has completed his research work on the approaches seen as discriminating in the IT sector of India. The scholar has found that one of the prominent discriminating approaches in the IT sector is the recruitment and selection of the males on top managerial positions. It is found that IT companies in India prefer hiring male employees for top positions such as operation manager, project manager, and many others. Due to these approaches, women in the sector are deprived of the growth opportunities despite having the same talent and skills as that of males (Dube et al., 2012). It can be analysed that male and female employees in the IT sector of the country work for earning their livelihood and supporting their wellbeing. For this reason, organizations are required to provide the same growth opportunities to the employees if they have the same talent and skills. Depriving the female employees of acquiring a top managerial position is therefore considered as

gender-based discrimination in the IT sector. According to Shanker (2008), female workforce in IT segment faces glass ceiling and is not capable of raising high after certain level of hierarchy, as they unable to bargain for appropriate perks, share options and pay scales. Their career selection is also restricted by distance from home, domestic duties, job securities and other social causes. Upadhya (2006) stated that the impression of stereotypical image for female on the part of recruiters, team lead and male colleagues results in marginalisation of female at workplace. Dashora (2013) has found that there are other types of discrimination in the IT sector of India, which include harassment, victimization, development of the strategies, which are more suitable for males and many more. In many companies, female employees have been reported to be harassed by their team leads and superiors. These seniors harass female employees in the name of offering growth opportunities, which is also a sexual crime and abuse (Dave, 2012). Since, females have less growth opportunities in comparison to males; therefore, many of them even do not report about the harassment due to the fear of losing the job and employment.

2.5 Reasons for women discrimination in India

According to the study carried out by Sengupta and Das, (2014), there are many prominent factors, which are accountable for encouraging women discrimination in the IT sector of India. The study has revealed that social ideology and thinking that women cannot take as effective decisions like that of males is one of the biggest factors. It is found in the study that India is considered the male-dominated country where females live under seclusions and miserable conditions (Khanna, 2012). However, these situations are not prevalent in developed cities of the country such as Bangalore and many others; but, human resource managers and organizational owners consider that women have less public outlook and social experience than that of males. Therefore, male employees can take rather more practical decisions, which may benefit the company. For this reason, female employees in the IT sector of India are considered suitable for jobs and positions, which lie in low organizational hierarchy (Mohapatra, 2015). This way, it can be said that attitude and thinking of the managers and social conditions of the women in India is one of the astounding factors behind the discrimination in the IT sector of the country.

Another major reason, which is found in the research work of Raju, (2014), is the poor conditions of law and order in India. The study indicates that India one of the most corrupt countries in the world, which has significantly poor conditions of law and order. For this reason, it becomes too challenging for the females in the IT sector of the country to raise voice and fight for their rights. In addition to this, companies in the IT sector can easily replace women employees as there are thousands of other people seeking job opportunities in India. Therefore, women tend to accept the discriminating behaviours of their managers and senior employees in the IT sector of the country (Kaushik et al., 2014). It can be analysed that poor law and order conditions prevent the females in India from raising voices for their mistreatment and unfair practices adopted by the companies. Further, it can also be said that in India, most of the females acquiring jobs in the IT industry belong to the middle class and poor class families. For this reason, they cannot afford the expensive advocates and prosecute the employers in the tribunal court (Bhattacharyya and Ghosh, 2012). Also, fear of losing the job prevents the females from raising voices against the discriminating behaviours of the companies and other employees. The conditions sometimes result in sexual harassment and abuse in companies in which females are victimized. The Patriarchy system in India is regarded as a key factor of female discrimination in India. It is system of social structure and practices, where male dominates, oppress and exploit female. This patriarchy social structure predetermines each male in a

dominant position and each female in subordinate position. This conceptualisation at diverse level of abstraction exists in organisations also. Due to this concept, female are not only focused in lower grades of work, but also in different areas of work. There are two kind of patriarchal strategies that exist in workplace, which are exclusion and segregation. Exclusion approach intended at completely preventing females’ access to a specific field of employment and segregation approach intended at separating females’ work from male by treating women beneath men with respect to remuneration and status (Bhattacharyya & Ghosh, 2012). From the analysis of the above literature, it can be said that there are several social and legal factors in India, which results in discrimination of the female employees in the IT sector.

2.6 Theoretical Discussion

here are various theories, which can describe the issue of female discrimination in work. For instance one such theory is human capital theory. This theory is an extension of neoclassical economics, which is dependent on the assumption that female’s position in employment market is the consequence of interaction of employee demand and employee supply aspects of female’s subordinate position in employment market to female’s lower human capital or acquisition of education and abilities (Walby, 2008). Nevertheless, such assertions of human capital theory are not supported by evidences in different nations. For example, in developed nations like the UK and the US, females are growingly obtaining similar degree of education as male, but this has not essentially resulted to employment market gains. For instance, McDowell (2007) discovered that in the banking segment of the UK, irrespective of having similar educational qualifications, male and female had diverse career routes. The study of Chang (2004) on developing nations has also not found any consistent connection between educational qualifications and occupational exclusion.

Another important theory in this context is segmentation theory. On the basis of theory, employment market is segmented into primary and secondary segment. Primary segments are those jobs, which have higher pays, more promotional prospects and better and stable working situations. On the other hand, secondary segment are those jobs, which has low pays, low job security and poor working situations (Bezbaruah, 2010). Anker (2008) stated that segmentation theory is a short step to adjust the thought of dual employment market to occupational separation by gender, with one labour segment encompasses women job and another segment encompass men job. Critically, this theory presents a benefit over the neoclassical theory by disagreeing that employees are socially created, and by implication, employment market prospects are associated to the ascribed, rather than true features of the workforce, an explanation, which can also be expanded to female. Segmentation theory gives an insight regarding how jobs are categorised on the basis of who performs them and explain the reason females are associated with secondary jobs in many segments.

2.7 Impacts of discrimination in IT sector in India

As per the research work carried out by Deininger et al. (2013), there are many significant impacts and influences of discrimination in the IT sector of India. These impacts can be seen over the enterprises and organizations as well as on the working females in the companies. The study reveals that organizations due to their discriminating approaches and behaviours cannot utilize the talents and skills of the female employees at the optimised scale. It can be understood that females facing discrimination cannot actively participate in organizational policies, growth, and development. On the contrary, they follow the instructions given by their seniors and do not give innovative ideas, which may allow the companies to become more productive (Strachan et al., 2015). This way, it can be understood that discriminating behaviour adopted by the IT organizations in India results in less contribution of the females in organizational success. In place of contributing to organizational excellence, females only work for acquiring their wages and salaries, which prevents the organizations from using their talents and skills. Sathyanarayana and Nair have explained in their research study that there are many adverse impacts of the discriminating approaches and policies of the organizations operating in the IT sector of India on female employees. It is found in the study that due to discrimination enthusiasm and morale of the women employees in the companies remain low. When these women observe male employees acquiring more growth opportunities, they remain disheartened and disappointed, which significantly affects their performance and productivity level. The study indicates that organizations in which discrimination is observed often have less employee engagement, especially for women employees. Scenarios of high absenteeism, less workplace engagement and many more could be seen in these IT companies in India. Another major impact that can be observed due to the discriminating behaviours of the T companies in India is the lack of talent and skilful human resources (Mehrotra, 2013). It is found in the study that females when to observe the discrimination in an IT company in India, intend to look for job opportunities in other companies operating in the same industry. Due to this, the rate of switching the organization becomes immensely high for females. As a result, companies may face an expensive crisis for talented workers and employees. In addition to this, it can also be understood that females, after facing discrimination, also do not call for their friends and relatives, which are equally talented and skilful. For this reason, discriminating approaches in the IT sector of India also affects the hiring of the sourcing of the women employees.

Further, there are other studies, which indicate that in current times, many non-profitable organizations are operating in India. These companies are functional for the wellbeing of the women employees in different sectors (Batra and Reio 2016). Approaches of discrimination and partial behaviour towards the female employees in the IT sector of India make these companies a potential target for those non-profitable organizations. As a result, companies adopting such approaches are much likely to face defamation and other issues. This way, it can be understood that discrimination approaches in the IT sector of India have significant negative effects on the companies as well as on the working women.

2.8 Gaps in the literature

The above chapter of the literature review has presented several facts and information about the discrimination towards the women employees. The chapter has explained the factors behind discrimination and their impacts from organizational and employee perspectives. However, the literature analysed in the current chapter is covering vital information on the topic of the current research work; but, there is a lack of real-time information in the chapter. Furthermore, there are limited researches on dissemination, particularly in the IT segment of India. It can be seen that the literature hardly contains information, which describes the discriminating approaches and behaviours of the real-time companies, which are operating in the IT sector of India. For this reason, it can be said that the analysed literature in this chapter has a gap in the lack of real-time information, which presents the need for further research. The current research work is being carried out to fill these gaps and explore the real-time examples of women discrimination in the IT sector of India.

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