50% of the country’s tech workforce will sooner or later be women: Harish Mehta


“By 2030, there will be as many women executives as men in Indian companies”

“By 2030, there will be as many women executives as men in Indian companies”


Gender diversity in Indian IT has improved over the years and 50% of the country’s technical workforce would sooner or later be women, said Harish Mehta, one of the founding members and Nasscom’s first elected chairman.

A lot has happened in recent decades in terms of gender diversity, Mr Mehta said Peppystores. For example, in the 1980s women represented only a single-digit percentage of the country’s tech talent pool, and today they already make up 37% of the total workforce in the software and services sector.

“Interestingly, today about 50% of new hires are women. I see that sooner than later we will reach 50% women in the workforce. There is a concerted effort to skip diversity. But again, women are not being recruited because they are women, they are increasingly landing merit-based jobs,” noted Mr. Mehta.

When asked about the glass ceiling for women in leadership positions, he replied: “It’s changing.”

“Look at the number of Indians in general, and Indian women in particular, occupying the corner offices of leading US companies today and compare it to the number a decade ago,” he joked.

“Honestly, I don’t need to look into a crystal ball to make that prediction. But I can say that by 2030 there will be as many women leaders as men in India,” said Mr Mehta, who is also the author of The Maverick Effect, a book that tells how fierce competitors came together and buried their differences, to work towards the common goal of growing the sector and changing perceptions of India around the world.

“It took almost a quarter of a century for the country’s tech sector to gain confidence, experience tremendous growth and surpass its first $100 billion in revenue,” said Mr. Mehta.

When Nasscom was founded in 1988, the size of the entire global technology outsourcing pie was $300 billion, and India’s accessible share was only about $5 billion. But to be honest, the board couldn’t imagine at the time that the market would expand like it does today and the volume of business would pick up dramatically, he said frankly.

“We passed the first billion in revenue around 1996 and then came $50 billion in 2007 and then you could see that $100 billion and up was definitely achievable. In 2012, India’s software and services business surpassed $100 billion,” he recalled. Interestingly, in eight years, the industry has made the next $100 billion.

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