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End of remote work pushes women out IT giant TCS


The ending of remote work arrangements at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), had an unintended consequence.

A higher number of female employees opted not to return to the office compared to their male peers.

This departure from the norm has raised concerns at the IT giant, as historically, female attrition rates had either been lower or on par with their male counterparts.

Chief Human Resources Officer of TCS Milind Lakkad said in the company’s annual report last week: “I would think working from home during the pandemic reset the domestic arrangements for some women, keeping them from returning to the office.

"It is a setback to our efforts to promote gender diversity, but we are doubling down on it.”

Read More: TCS women employee strength nearly doubles in six years

In recent years, the flexibility of remote work has enabled companies to attract and retain talent, particularly women, as it facilitated the balancing of office and home duties in a hybrid environment.

However, the current shift away from remote work is causing women to withdraw from the workforce, exacerbating an already low female participation rate.

India's female labor force participation stands at 24 percent, a significantly lower figure compared to China's 61 percent, according to World Bank data.

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This poses a risk to the economic growth of the world's most populous nation, where women constitute roughly half of the population.

Currently, women make up approximately 36 percent of TCS's workforce, and the company is actively working towards increasing its representation, including in leadership positions, as emphasized by Lakkad.

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