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Indian Tech Women Earn 4Lakh less
By Sumir Singh

According to a Catalyst Study ‘High Potentials Under High Pressure in India’s Technology Sector’,  whose  research partners included tech giants like IBM and HP,  India’s “High Potential” Women in Technology aim high but earn less,  and also get fewer opportunities for advancement than men  Gender pay gap widens by approximately US$6000 (Rs.3.8 lakhs) over a period of 12 years 

The report, High Potentials Under High Pressure in India’s Technology Sector, studied India’s technology sector and is part of Catalyst’s groundbreaking study of MBA graduates from top business schools around the world.

While the overall global study shows that women MBAs start at lower positions and lower pay (US$4600 less on average) than their male counterparts, India Inc.’s  high-potential women and men in technology start out on an equal footing when it comes to job level and pay. However, 12 years into their careers, women lag behind men by approximately Rs.3.8 lakhs or US$6000 in terms of pay.

“In India’s growing economy, with high job mobility and the corresponding high demand for talent, organizations must do everything they can to attract and retain women—who, the study shows, are amongst their most committed employees,” said Shachi Irde, Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC. “Ensuring pay equity, equal access to developmental opportunities, and flexible and inclusive environments for women is critical for retaining talent in India’s technology sector.”

Key findings of the Catalyst report include:

--Almost four-fifths (79%) of young high-potential men and women alike, at the start of their careers, aspire to senior executive positions, including that of CEO.

--But over time, some differences emerge. While almost three-quarters of the high potentials with young children (74%) aspired to senior executive/CEO levels, a significantly higher proportion (88%) of high potentials with older or no children aspired to the top. Forty-two percent of women with young children aspired to the top, showing that the aspiration gap is not a simple gender gap, but is more complex and driven by gender role norms.

--Economic factors in India make “job-hopping” common, but women and men differ in their mobility patterns. Men change jobs more often: At the time of the survey, just 21% of the men were still at the same company where they had started their careers, compared to 36% of the women. The main reason that high-potential women and men left their first job was to get ahead in their career (64%) or for higher compensation (50%).

--Women receive fewer on-the-job experiences that matter for pay/advancement such as mission-critical “line” jobs and long-duration international relocations. For example, as many as 57% of men relocated to work abroad for three or more years compared to just 18% of women. Of women with older children, 80% said that they would be “happy to spend the rest of my career with this company,” while only 41% of the men said so.

--Of note, women in general are more dissatisfied with pay and salary growth over their careers. Compared to 42% of men, 52% of women were “very” or “somewhat” dissatisfied with their compensation. In addition, 44% of women were “very” or “somewhat” dissatisfied with their salary progress compared to 35% of men.

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