Largest tech company TCS on Tuesday said attrition among its women employees has raced past the same for men, hinting that the end of work-from-home may have a role to play in it.
Its chief human resources officer Milind Lakkad said that historically, the attrition among women employees – who constitute over 35 per cent of the over 6 lakh-strong workforce – has been lower or similar to that of men, and called the development as "unusual".
"...I would think working from home during the pandemic reset the domestic arrangements for some women, keeping them from returning to office even after everything normalised," he said in an interview published in the company's annual report.
Lakkad acknowledged that the higher attrition among women is a "setback" to the Tata Group company's efforts to promote gender diversity and added that the company is focusing on reversing the trend.
The annual report did not reveal the exact attrition number on the basis of gender. Its overall attrition peaked in the middle of the fiscal gone by and came down to over 20 per cent at the end of March.
Lakkad said focused leadership development programmes like 'iExcel' are driving change on this front. The annual report said the flagship executive leadership development programme for women has completed 22 editions and 1,450 women leaders have benefitted from it.
Women made up nearly a fourth of the leadership positions fulfilled with internal candidates in FY23, even though they account for only 14 per cent of the applicant pool, Lakkad said.
"This speaks well of the quality of the women candidates in our leadership pool as well as the supportive attitudes of our business leaders in promoting diversity," he added.
Women constituted 38.1 per cent of TCS' net hires in FY23, Lakkad said.
'Rebegin' -- a TCS initiative for experienced women professionals re-entering the workforce after a break -- saw nearly 14,000 job applications in FY23, the annual report said.
Of the nearly 30,000 employees classified as senior management, almost 4,000 or over 13 per cent were women, the annual report said.
It also said that TCS has introduced a policy on flexible work arrangements, which provides necessary support and flexibility for caregivers of young children, expectant women employees, and persons with disability.
TCS, which has been pushing employees to resume working from offices lately to deepen the organisational culture, said that it does not discriminate between genders on remuneration.