Information technology enabled services (ITeS) and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Delhi-NCR have been impacted over the last few days because of the Delhi rape incident.

According to a random survey undertaken by industry body Assocham’s Social Development Foundation (ASDF), the companies have been affected to the extent of 40 per cent.

There are around 2,200 ITeS and BPO units in Delhi-NCR region and over 2.5 lakh women work in these companies.

The companies registered a significant decline in work productivity during the last fortnight as one in three women employees has either reduced working hours after sunset or quit jobs after the horrendous crime in Delhi, it said.

The incident has impacted the productivity of women workforce not only in Delhi-NCR region but also in other major cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahemdabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and Dehradun, said the Assocham survey.

The industry body surveyed 2,500 women and they said it was due to long hours and shift jobs. It highlighted that around 82 per cent of the women respondents said they have started leaving early after the sunset.

The anxiety is more among those women who travel by buses, chartered buses, three-wheelers and metro.

About 89 per cent of those participated in the survey in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad said they have begun insisting on leaving offices on time, immediately after duty hours following the atmosphere of insecurity, the survey said.

“Security is one of the major concerns for the women who are working in the BPO, KPO and ITeS sectors. The odd hours of work and the long distances of travel make women quite prone to difficult and often dangerous situations,” D.S. Rawat, Secretary-General, Assocham. said.

However, he also said that none of the women, in the survey said that they had lodged a formal complaint to any kind of authority. There is a big difference, therefore, in the crime reported and the actual experiences of women. Crime statistics only reflect those crimes that are reported to the police.

“Therefore, violence experienced by women on public transport never enters the crime statistics, even though it is serious and rampant,” he said.

In 2011-12, the IT industry had 52 per cent women in its workforce compared to 32 per cent in 2008-09. At the entry level, in 2007-08, 48 per cent were women compared to 62 per cent in 2011-12.

The findings reveal that the BPO workforce is relatively young, the majority being less than 30 years. The mean age of the women employees in BPOs has been found to be 21 to 28 years, the survey added.

(This article was published on January 3, 2013)
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