Empowering Women in IT - eWIT
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'Mission : empowering women in IT'

EMPOWERING WOMEN: Actor Radhika Sarathkumar releasing eWIT’s souvenir in Chennai on Wednesday. Kalyani Narayanan, eWIT secretary, and Sudha Gopal, president, (left) are in the picture.

CHENNAI: Two years, full of ideas and raring to go. Empowering women in IT or eWIT is a forum that was formed two years ago to address issues of women employees in the information technology industry and ITES sector. On Wednesday, it celebrated its second anniversary here with hopes of consolidating the information and experience gathered over the two last years.

The theme of the celebrations this year was “The impact of women in the IT/ITES industry.” Former general secretary of eWIT Usha Srinivasan said that women made up 21 per cent of the workforce in the IT industry and about 40 per cent in the ITES sector, but very few got into senior-level positions and there are almost none at the board level.

“We are looking at how to get women a share of the career growth,” she said, adding that there was a need to retain women in the field and find better ways for them to manage their family and work. “There was a need for a forum to discuss issues relating to women and also find ways to unleash the potential of women by equipping them with skills and helping them balance their lives,” said Ms.Usha, who is also a consultant in strategic developmental human resources.

Vijayalakshmi Rao, one of the founding members and Director of SCOPE, e-knowledge Centre, said that last year the forum focussed on research on issues concerning women in the IT industry.

“Attrition remains the biggest problem and most of it, we have found, are due to issues of family and maternity. We are looking into HR policies and support structures available for women at the workplace. What we found is that most of the policies, including those dealing with sexual harassment and flexible working hours are there at a very informal level. There is a need to work towards formalising them. Most offices also did not do any kind of gender sensitisation work,” she said.

On the occasion, eWIT organised a paper presentation competition for corporate women and college students.

Sudha Gopal, president of the eWIT, said it was to develop their written and oral presentation skills.

“The special category for students was designed to prepare them for the IT world,” she said.

The response was very good and in the future we are planning to take it out of the city to the interiors as well,” she said.

Later in the evening, chairperson and managing director of Radaan Media Works India and actor Radhika Sarathkumar released the souvenir of the event.

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