ESRC carried out a 24 month long research to find out what lessons can be learned from India to increase the number of women entering the UK's IT sector (Photo: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images).


WOMEN constitute nearly 35 per cent of the workforce in India’s IT sector, while in the UK it is less than 18 per cent, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) said in a report.

The highest-ranking European country is Bulgaria where women constitute 30 per cent of the total workforce.

Globally, the IT sector, especially in the developed countries, is witnessing a decline in women in its workforce.

ESRC carried out a 24 month long research to find out what lessons can be learned from India to increase the number of women entering the UK’s IT sector.

Led by professor Parvati Raghuram with co-investigator Dr Clem Herman, both of the Open University, the research was carried out in the UK and India between 2016 and 2018.

In the UK, the low recruitment of women to IT careers coupled with high attrition rates are seen as a major problem for the sector.

Professor Parvati Raghuram said: “Addressing the UK shortage of women in IT requires that the sector not only offers benefits, but outperforms other competing sectors, and projects its gender-equality policies effectively through targeted campaigns,”

Research findings on the role of industry, university partnerships in embedding gender equality in IT recruitment are now being incorporated into a new national strategy for increasing diversity in the UK technology sector.

This is currently underdevelopment by the Institute of Coding, a government-funded consortium of over 30 universities and major IT businesses, of which the Open University is a core partner.

Meanwhile, the Indian IT sector was found to offer career support, high status, reward and security, and visible equality policies that attract women.

India’s IT sector also undertakes high-profile campaigns and university campus recruitment; offers in-house leadership and management programmes; and invests in skills development to retain staff and keep a competitive edge.