Industry Research : Decline in Women Workforce after Delhi Gang-rape
ITeS-BPO companies have registered a significant decline in work productivity during the last fortnight as one in three female workers have either reduced working hours after sunset or quit jobs after the Delhi bus rape incident, says a quick random survey undertaken by Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF).
In Delhi-NCR alone, BPO-ITeS have been affected to the extent of 40 per cent. There are about 2,200 ITeS and BPO units in this region, where over 2.5 lakh women work.
What's more, the incident has impacted the productivity of the women workforce not only in Delhi-NCR region but also in major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and Dehradun. Assocham surveyed 2,500 women and they said it was due to long hours and shift jobs.
The survey says that nearly 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 is the most after sunset. About 89 per cent of those participating in the survey in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad said they have begun insisting on leaving offices on time, immediately after duty hours.
Majority of the respondents of Delhi-NCR marked the atmosphere not comfortable enough for them to work in BPO and ITeS sector, with some 67 per cent calling it 'bad'.
Assocham secretary-general D S Rawat said in a release that security is one of the major concerns for 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," he said.
A large proportion of the respondents (62 per cent) in Delhi-NCR are satisfied with the security arrangements made within and outside workplace, though approximately 38 per cent of the respondents answered in the negative.
In the absence of proper transport facilities by the organisation, commuting becomes a difficult task involving long hours. Nearly 82 per cent of females said they fear travelling in public transport at odd hours, especially at night, in comparison to only 22 per cent of men.
"In the survey, none of the women 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," added Rawat.
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, adds the Assocham survey.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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