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The Fall of Women in IT

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, May 24, 2012   |    1 Comments
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Not too long ago, there was a growing concern over the discrimination between the males and the females. Stepping into the new millennia, we are once again fazed with this, dare I say, ancient predicament although ironically, in one of the most avant-garde quarter that constitutes a very integral part of our society, i.e. the IT sector.

There has been a quantum leap of the IT sector over the last decade or so with regards to its role which has become pivotal in an organization; so much so that it has virtually transformed into a revenue generating department from a cost cutting one. But concealing itself behind the veil of grandeur, there is a latent concern that is creeping up in this sector.

Apart from a discerning shortage of digital skills, the representation of women seems to be "highly unrepresentative of the population at large as reported in the the 14th annual CIO Technology Survey 2012, conducted by Harvey Nash in association with TelecityGroup.

A disparity in regards to male –female ratio is quite palpable in the technology sector. Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash Group quoted” This is a challenge for technology companies and IT departments around the world. Traditionally, all forms of engineering have suffered from an image problem. In the past female graduates have not aspired to be "tech geeks" and a career in IT has not been seen as attractive. Technology companies and groups will miss out in the future and this makes the skills shortage even more acute. However such high profile marketplace developments like the up and coming Facebook IPO will draw attention to the enormous potential offered by careers in technology, and I am confident young people of both genders, faced with a challenging jobs market particularly in Europe, will increasingly aspire to be part of the growing success of the technology sector worldwide."

Well, let’s hope, pray and wish his confidence doesn’t betray him.  As a woman has an array of options to choose from when it comes to her career. A quintessential example of this is Akshata Murty, daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. Although she has an MBA from Stanford and a stake in the family business (read, 000 crores), she found her true calling in fashion. . This is established from the survey which stated that software engineering is not seen as attractive alternative to female graduates as almost a quarter of CIOs (24 percent) have no women in their technical and development teams.

Now get ready to get blown away.93 percent of CIOs in the Survey are male, literally and figuratively unchanged from the 2005 Harvey Nash CIO survey, how about that! Not only that, over a third of those surveyed confirmed they have no females in technology leadership or management roles in their organization, and over three-quarters (81 percent) have less than a quarter of management roles populated by women. What the survey also concluded was that software engineering is not seen as attractive alternative to female graduates as almost a quarter of CIOs (24 percent) have no women in their technical and development teams. The pay scale and pay freeze also seem to incline more favorably towards the males.

And these are the numbers you get after surveying more than 2400 CIOs across 20 countries worldwide.

Whatever may be the reason(s) behind this discrepancy, we are yet to ascertain the plight of it. Is it because of the ego centric males whose sense of dominance over its female counterparts has penetrated the corporate world too or is it the women themselves who may be under the preconceived notion that the work environment is not congenial enough for their growth and being??

A classic case of ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ I wonder what Shakespeare has to say!


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