With 50,000 workforce, it’s woman power that drives IT sector in Kerala
Tech parks see sharp rise in women employees in last 2 years, especially after pandemic
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s surmise that the party could be in peril if 50% of women representation is allowed, though said in half jest, will fall flat if he and other leaders with patriarchal mindset observe what has been happening in the state’s IT sector. At present, close to 50% of employees in the IT sector, which is the backbone of industries in the state, are women.
As per IT department’s estimates, at least 50,000 woman professionals are among 1.2 lakh employees in 900 companies operating from various IT parks in the state. According to sources in the industry, penetration of women in large numbers from the entry level to superior positions happened in the last two years, especially after the pandemic struck. About 20% at the supervisory level and 10% at the senior management level in Technopark companies are women, while woman employees make up for nearly 50% at the entry-level.
Jayanthi Lakshmi, chief finance officer, Kerala IT Parks, said the representation of women in Technopark has increased in the recent times. “IT parks in Kerala give woman employees a sense of security as they are in a safe working environment. This is attracting more women employees to the IT sector. All IT parks in Kerala have the facilities and security setup to work day and night, regardless of gender. The energy provided by the organisations and groups working here for the advancement of women is not small. The woman employees are sincere, energetic and have a good dedication level,” she said.
There are companies like Techvantage Systems in Technopark in which women form more than 60% of the workforce. According to Jeeja Gopinath, co-founder and managing director, Techvantage Systems, her company has woman employees even in key positions. “Our company started operations in 2010. We focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence. We always welcome more women on board and encourage them to occupy higher positions,” Jeeja said.
Tina James, president of WE - Women Inclusive in Technology, women’s IT collective and CEO of Revyrie Global, said she had noticed an increase in the workload and significant pressure on women during the pandemic in balancing their family lives and careers. “Our objective is to bring more women into the IT sector and to keep them in the career for a longer period so that they can reach higher positions. At present, only 4% women are in top positions in IT companies. We need to give upskill training to them as they have career breaks in between,” she said.
Radhika Viswanathan, vice-president, WE - Women Inclusive in Technology, said the representation of women in training programmes held online and offline is a welcome change. Radhika said the number of events and participation of women have increased by 50% in past one year.
Making a huge difference
Over 60% of the workforce in companies like Techvantage Systems in Technopark are women. Some hold key positions. According to company co-founder Jeeja Gopinath , they always welcome more women on board and encourage them to occupy higher positions