IT parks in Kerala have witnessed an abrupt surge in the number of women employees. Out of the total workforce, 40 per cent are females in major parks of the state and the number is expected to grow further.
Not only the gender balance is better compared to other states in India, but it may be ahead of other developing nations, an official spokesperson said, according to The Hindu Business Line.
Several companies in Kerala IT Parks have women in the lead, and the number of female entrepreneurs has also seen an upward trend.
Offers equal opportunity
IT Parks in the state provide equal opportunity across all social, economic, and demographic groups. The Kerala government has taken up a number of measures for the welfare of women and migrants returning from other countries., according to John M Thomas, CEO of Kerala IT Parks.
"We ensure these policies are implemented and adhered properly. Kerala IT Parks are well equipped with women security officers and women police patrol for safety and security of our employees and professionals," he said, reported The Hindu Business Line.
IT parks in Kerala also work closely with government agencies like Kudumbashree to hire women professionals in non-IT fields. A community organisation of Neighbourhood Groups of women in the state, Kudumbashree targets empowerment of women in rural as well as urban areas.
Work with Kudumbashree
Separate initiatives like the Knowledge Economy Mission enable and upskill women who took a career break. Thomas added that the Kerala Start-Up Mission promotes women start-ups.
Technopark-Thiruvananthapuram, the first and largest IT Park in the country, has a vast and near balance workforce having a gender ratio of 55:45, with women employees comprising 45 per cent.
As per the survey conducted by Working Mother and Avtar 'Best Companies for Women in India' (BCWI), EY and Infosys in Technopark have been ranked in the top 10 slots. Allianz in Technopark and Cognizant in Infopark-Kochi were also ranked in the top 100 BCWI in 2020.
The ranking is based on best practices towards gender inclusion and parameters such as women's recruitment, workforce profile, retention and advancement, flexible work options, safety and security, work-life programmes, parental leave and benefits, and company culture.
Kerala IT Parks have also started steps to include broader segments of society including differently-abled, LGBTQ, and the economically marginalised and underprivileged sections. Various companies have introduced formal policies that mainly focus on hiring the workforce from these sections.
Allianz Services has introduced policies like 'Mudra' for the differently-abled people 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 Place For Women To Work
Infopark-Kochi based Fingent Global Solutions and Technopark-based Zafin Software Centre of Excellence have been listed among India's Best Workplace for Women in this year, 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 they took a career break. eWIT in a tie-up with EY and ICT Academy Kerala has set up programmes for devloping and upskillig women professionals for providing placements within the IT Parks.
The Kochi-based NeST Digital has adopted women-friendly policies to help those with personal commitments to manage working from the office premises and remotely from home.
Technopark-based Testhouse has also designed a programme for women with young kids that largely focuses on providing employment opportunities and IT training for professionals whose careers were affected by the COVID–19 pandemic or any other medical or personal reasons. Among others joining this list are Finastra, TCS, RR Donnelley, IBS, Guidehouse, Quest Global, and Qburst.