Over the last five years the number of women employees have increased significantly in the IT industry which has been quite active on its gender inclusivity agenda. However, when it comes to leadership positions among the channel community, the partners are yet to catch up pace, the number of female employees to that of their male counterparts being extremely poor. In fact, the ratio is not just poor, the fairer sex is virtually non-existent in the reseller and channel ecosystem.
Although the Indian socio-economic scenario is changing fast giving scope for increasing women emÂpowerment, there's a huge gap that seems to be existing in the channel. On a broader persÂpective, there's still a huge gap which needs to be addressed when it comes to creating a conducive support system that will allow women to deal with two most competitive priorities of their lives—family and career. Like every other industry, this impacts the channel too. But the reason for even abysmal numbers amongst channel is not difficult to fathom.
The pitiable working conditions in most IT hubs-notwithstanding The DQ Week campaigns like Nehru Place ko chamkao-the situation is most cities still beggars description. Unhygienic and unsafe working conditions-many companies do not even have separate female lavatories, and presence of dubious elements in many of these IT hubs-discourages more females from entering the channel fray.
Speaking to several channel partners what comes out is that they are not averse to hiring more women in their workforce. So you cannot accuse them of being chauvinists, but in many cases they have been lethargic to improve some of the conditions that are dissuading women from joining their fraternity. A real tragedy since most men now appreciate (and that includes our channel partner brethren) that the world should have been a much worse place (and infinitely much duller) without women. And most men in the corporate world at least I am sure would readily acknowledge that their workplaces are now much enlivened by the presence of their female colleagues. So why are our partners missing out the pleasure of increasing intermingling of the sexes in the workplace?
If not the channel partners themselves, then at least The DQ Week, the champion of channel causes for a generation, has been proactive on this front. The DQ Week team has always been strong on the femme fatale front and the tradition continues. Currently more than half our workforce is women and I will be the first to admit they are doing a damn good job. So if The DQ Week has been successful in aligning Mars and Venus, we can expect our partners will also do so in the near future.