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'Make IT conducive for women'

Chennai, Mar 10: The IT industry should create a conducive environment that would support gender equality in the workplace and the society in general, a top government official said.

"The society has quite a few negative perceptions about the IT industry. We should take serious steps to rectify that. There are stereotypes that need to be shattered," Dr C Chandramouli, Tamil Nadu IT secretary said today while addressing the first anniversary of eWIT- Empowering Women in IT, supported by STPI.

"We need to brand the industry as a safe place for women to work, against the propaganda of relationships in the workplace," he said at the gathering of over 400 women. He called upon eWIT to work towards inclusiveness in the Tier II and III cities and also help create more women entrepreneurs.

He said there was a need to change the cultural mindset of the people, which was not an easy task.

N Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, said we must be able to fight cultural and moral policing and stand up against such forces.

Top women professionals of the IT industry who took part in a panel discussion earlier, were of the view that work-home balance was very important for women and added that dealing with the guilt factor of not being able to take care of family at the expense of work was a major challenge. They also collectively felt the need for networking, flexitiming and telecommuting. "What the industry can do is mentorship. The opportunity is there. It is for us to take it," Kalyani Jagannathan, of Virtusa observed. (Our Correspondent)

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