IT women employees demand crèche facility

If safety and security concerns continue to bother women IT employees outside their office space, then it is the lack of certain facilities which is threatening their professional longevity. Foremost among them is the absence of a crèche or day-care facility inside their office premises leading to many women employees giving up their jobs during maternity.

Local IT employees also admit that this is one of the primary reasons for decreased efficiency in young working mothers. “This is a very big problem for working women employees,” observed A. Pravallika, an IT employee and a member of Forum for IT professionals, involved in gathering like-minded people for a meeting on the issue.

“Mother’s feeding is very important for infants and it would really help if companies had a crèche facility. The maternity leave of three months given by the company is not enough and ultimately, women employees have no option but to quit. This career break results in a lesser pay package when they rejoin work,” she said.

She also said that some of her colleagues had joined other companies because they had crèche facilities. Though there is a provision in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act regarding the crèche facility, it is not mandatory and many IT & ITES employees claim that the facility or even day care centres are a rarity in the city.

Another IT employee talks about her experience with an IT major post her pregnancy. “There is an option called ‘Child Care leave’ where one can take a year off without any pay for the benefit of their children. I, like many employees, availed it immediately after the birth of my son, since utmost care is needed in the first year. After I had rejoined office, I found myself on bench as the HR said they had to search for a project to fit me in. Finally, I was asked to quit within two months since they couldn’t place me anywhere,” said P. Rajitha, mother of two, who feels that having crèches inside the office can increase the efficiency of working mothers by at least 50 per cent.

A report released at the recently held Nasscom HR Summit 2014 said that women IT employees are paid 33 per cent less than their male employees. It also stated the loss of bargaining power due to career breaks as one of the main reasons.

“There are many young women techies at the entry level but very few at the top. This is because most of them are from nuclear families. Lack of professional and personal support after motherhood leaves them with no choice,” said L. Rakhi, a 32-year-old software professional working for an MNC.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 9:09:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/it-women-employees-demand-crche-facility/article6264790.ece

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