Kerala IT Parks make major strides in achieving gender parity

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 08, 2021
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‘Equal opportunity across social, economic and demographic groups’

IT parks in Kerala have witnessed a steep increase in the number of women employed to 40 per cent of the total workforce in the major parks, and expected to grow further.

The gender balance is not just better compared to other States in the country but may also ahead that of other developing countries, an official spokesperson said.

A number of companies in Kerala IT Parks have women in the lead, and the number of women entrepreneurs has also been increasing.

Offers equal opportunity

John M Thomas, CEO of Kerala IT Parks, said that IT Parks in Kerala, provide equal opportunity across all social, economic and demographic groups. Several measures have been taken up by the State government for the welfare of migrants returning from abroad and women.

“We ensure these policies are implemented and properly adhered to. Kerala IT Parks are equipped with women security officers and women police patrol for safety and security of employees and professionals,” he said.

IT parks also closely work with government agencies such as Kudumbashree to employ women professionals in non-IT fields. A community organisation of Neighbourhood Groups of women in Kerala, Kudumbashree targets empowerment of women in rural as well as urban areas.

Work with Kudumbashree

Separately, initiatives such as the Knowledge Economy Mission enable and upskill women who took a career break. The Kerala Start Up Mission promotes women start-ups, he added.

Technopark-Thiruvananthapuram, the first and largest IT Park in the country, has a diverse and near balance workforce with a gender ratio of 55:45 with women comprising 45 per cent.

EY and Infosys in Technopark have been ranked in the top 10 slots, according to a survey conducted by Working Mother and Avtar ‘Best Companies for Women in India’(BCWI). Allianz in Technopark and Cognizant in Infopark-Kochi were also listed in the top 100 BCWI the previous year.

Inclusivity up front

The ranking is based on best practices towards gender inclusion and parameters such as workforce profile, women’s recruitment, retention and advancement, safety and security, flexible work options, parental leave and benefits, work-life programmes, and company culture.

Kerala IT Parks have also initiated steps to include wider segments of society including LGBTQ, differently-abled, and the economically weaker sections. Many companies have introduced formal policies that primarily focus on hiring the workforce from these sections.

Allianz Services has introduced policies like ‘Mudra’ for the differently-abled and a new hiring structure for the LGBTQ community. The Great Place to Work Institute has recognised these initiatives and awarded the company with the global ‘Silver Stevie Award.

Best Workplace for Women

Infopark-Kochi based Fingent Global Solutions and Technopark-based Zafin Software Centre of Excellence have ranked among India's Best Workplace for Women 2021 list, published by Great Place to Work Institute.

The women IT association of the Kerala IT Parks, Empowering Women in IT (eWIT), has introduced initiates such as ‘Vapas’ to bring back women professionals after a career break. eWIT in a tie-up with EY and ICT Academy Kerala has set up programmes for upskilling and developing women professionals for providing placements within the IT Parks.

Women-friendly policy

The Kochi-based NeST Digital has adopted women-friendly policies to help those having personal commitments to manage working from the office and remotely from home.

Technopark-based Testhouse also has designed a programme for women with young children that focuses on providing job opportunities and IT training for professionals whose careers were stunted by Covid–19 or any other medical or personal reasons. Among others joining this list are Finastra, TCS, IBS, RR Donnelley, Guidehouse, Quest Global, and Qburst.

Published on December 08, 2021

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