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India’s Top IT Firms See Net Exit of 25,000 Women In FY24

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Five of India's major IT firms—Infosys, TCS, Wipro, LTI Mindtree, and HCL Tech—saw a net exit of 25,000 women employees in FY24, according to staffing firm Xpheno. 

Despite a major increase in women employed by these companies, the diversity ratio has seen minimal growth since the pandemic. 

The number of women in these firms rose from around 374,000 in March 2020 to 540,000 in March 2023, dropping to 515,000 by the end of FY24.

This indicates while the total number of women employees increased by 141,000, or 38 percent, between 2020 and 2024, the diversity ratio grew by a mere 0.9 percentage points, reflecting a parallel rise in male hires. 

Shincy Morris, business head of direct hiring at Xpheno, said: “Such parallel growth in intake scale will continue to drive constant and flat gender ratios, as we are witnessing now.” 

In the January-March 2024 quarter, the average diversity ratio dropped to 34.26 percent from 34.32 percent a year earlier. 

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Pre-pandemic years showed stronger diversity growth, with a 1.56 percentage point increase between 2018 and 2020.

Experts attribute the post-pandemic rise in women professionals to increased overall hiring rather than a focused effort on improving the diversity ratio. 

“This lack of progression can be discouraging for ambitious women”

Leading IT firms did not respond to inquiries for comments on these findings.

Data from Avtar Group, a DEI solutions company, reveals a significant drop-off in women reaching leadership roles in the Indian IT industry. 

The diversity ratio at senior levels stands at 17 percent, less than half the 35 percent at entry levels. 

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Saundarya Rajesh, founder-president of Avtar Group, said: “This lack of progression can be discouraging for ambitious women.”

At 26 percent, the attrition rate among women in tech exceeds the overall industry rate of 21 percent.

This is driven by burnout from balancing demanding professional and personal commitments.

Deep-rooted biases and challenges persist despite an increase in DEI programs post-pandemic, from 73 to 77 percent. 

A survey by consulting firm ANSR found that women in tech face discrimination in representation, decision-making, recognition, and opportunities. 

Saundarya Rajesh said: "It is crucial that these programs have the buy-in of CEOs. Hiring diverse candidates does not guarantee inclusion.”

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