The need of women programmers & software developers in Indian IT industry

women programmer Parul Singhal, aged 29 years old, is the only female IT programmer in a team of 15 software developers. She graduated in Maths (Hons) from University of Delhi and then went on to study a course in software programming from a private institute in Bangalore. She landed up with a plum offer, after her successful campus placement, and now she works as a lead IT programmer in leading IT firm in Gurgaon.

Parul says,” The IT sector in India is mostly full of male workers. In fact, when I was studying software programming, the ratio of male participants was higher than female participants. This industry needs more women software developers and IT programmers.”

While India along with many countries of the world, in the 21st century, yet, demonstrates a dearth of women IT programmers/analysts, it was Ada Byron who is acknowledged as one of the few people who fully understood Charles Babbage's ideas about his Difference Engine and Analytical Engine, wayback in 1833. Ada Byron, who is credited to be the world’s first programmer, was the daughter of the famous English poet, Lord Byron.

Sunanda Chhabra, a Professor in Sociology of a private institute in Delhi says, “In our country, especially, in the semi-urban and rural areas, females are still not encouraged to take up Math/Science as their Core subject in college or graduation level. Henceforth, the female fraternity does not show enough interest in such subjects, thereby leading to lesser preference for IT-related subjects in later years – which in turn impacts the IT sector with lesser female workers.”

Mahesh Kumar, who runs a talent acquisition firm in East Delhi says, “We have placed skilled women workers mostly in jobs related to data entry and data preparation. There is a scarcity in terms of female resource when it comes to functional roles such as programmers and analysts. There is a huge demand for such profiles and women workers can command very good pay packages in these roles.”

As times have progressed, there is one section of Indian women who have embraced the world of Science and Math to leave an indelible mark in their respective fields. There are examples, such as, Kalpana Chawla and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who are role models of women having treaded the unchartered territory and could explore other niche functional roles such as IT programming and software development.

“A thorough course in programming/software development is essential to have a successful career in the IT industry. It is a very dynamic industry, since there is innovation in technology every now and then,” says Gunita Ahuja, who works for as a Software Developer in a private IT outsourcing firm.

“A woman who has the analytical bent of mind and is fond of researching further in the world of software and coding can do wonders in the IT industry. It is a myth that one has to be proficient in Math/Science in order to be an expert programmer,” continues Gunita.

While it is the role of parents and teachers in our society to motivate the women fraternity to explore career options in the IT industry, it is necessary for Government’s concerned departments to undertake special programmes to encourage women to take up jobs in the IT industry and make special provisions for their entry in this sector.


- Suniet Bezbaroowa (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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