Bangalore, Jan 17 (IANS) As an industry representative body, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has been pulling all stops to ensure the safety and security of women working in the IT sector across the country, its chief said Thursday.
"We are sharing our best practices with our member firms to ensure the safety and security of their women employees in both letter and spirit though we can't claim we have done all that needs to be," Nasscom president Som Mittal told reporters on the margins of an IT event here.
The $100-billion Indian software and services sector employs directly around 900,000 women, accounting for about 30 percent of the total three million workforce.
Admitting that increasing crimes against women in general was a cause for concern, Mittal said companies across the board were advised to constantly review safety measures and enhance security to prevent any untoward incident, as the welfare of employees, especially women, was a high priority because the IT sector's main capital was human resources.
"As part of our best practices to ensure safety of women employees, we advise our members (IT firms) to invite parents to visit their facilities to inspect measures taken to secure the welfare of their wards," he said at Nasscom's 'Diversity & Inclusion' summit 2013.
Asserting that women have equal rights to work and feel secured in the IT sector that operates on 24x7 basis, Mittal said unfortunate incidents like the recent Delhi gang-rape should not deter any woman from their fundamental right to work in any company or organisation irrespective of the profession and occupation.
"At the same time, it is the sacrosanct duty of every company/organisation to ensure the safety and security of all employees, particularly women at workplace and while commuting from home to office and back," he observed.
Asked if more women prefer to work in Bangalore and Pune over Delhi/Gurgaon owing to security concerns, the former HP India & Wipro executive hastened to clarify that employment data did not reflect such a trend, as evident from the large presence of IT firms in the northern region and as many women also are employed in them.
"I don't think so. We have large presence of IT firms in the north too and its for women to decide as they have as much right to work in a 24x7 industry. Why only IT sector? We have women working in hospitality, healthcare and other sectors which too operate on 24x7 basis," Mittal noted.
Referring to the high degree of diversity and inclusion in the IT sector, the Nasscom chief said the member firms have gone an extra mile to hire people, including women with different abilities.
"The Indian IT sector also boasts of generational diversities. There has been a lot of progress on diversity and inclusion to ensure proportionate representation and in commensurate with the sector's requirements," Mittal added.