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TCS Reports Higher Attrition Among Women Employees In FY23

Milind Lakkad, TCS' chief human resources officer, cited a "reset of domestic arrangements" as the key factor behind this trend

Photo Credit : shutterstock


Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) revealed in its annual report that the number of women employees leaving the organisation exceeded that of men in the previous financial year, primarily attributed to the company's return-to-office policy.

Milind Lakkad, TCS' chief human resources officer, cited a "reset of domestic arrangements" as the key factor behind this trend.

In an effort to foster a vibrant company culture and enhance collaboration among employees, TCS had implemented a policy requiring employees to return to the office following the normalisation of operations after the COVID-19 pandemic. Lakkad noted that while the exact reasons for the higher attrition among women may vary, he intuitively believed that the shift back to office work disrupted the domestic arrangements for some women, preventing their return to the office even after the pandemic subsided.

Traditionally, the attrition rate for women at TCS has been comparable to or lower than that of men. However, the company reported an overall attrition rate of 20.1 percent for the last 12 months, with a higher proportion of women leaving the organisation during this period.

In terms of recruitment, TCS emphassed its commitment to gender diversity. In FY23, women constituted 38.1 percent of the net hires in external hiring. Furthermore, although women comprised only 14 percent of the applicant pool for leadership positions filled with internal candidates, they accounted for 23 percent of the selected candidates, indicating efforts to bridge the gender gap in senior roles.

The pandemic's impact on female workers, particularly due to challenges associated with childcare and caregiving responsibilities, has been acknowledged as a contributing factor to their reduced workforce participation. With companies gradually transitioning back to office work, many women have opted to step out of the workforce altogether.

Lakkad highlighted some of the downsides of the work-from-home culture, pointing out that tenured employees could adapt to virtual work by leveraging their accumulated social capital, whereas junior employees faced difficulties in building essential workplace relationships, collaboration, mentorship and team-building.

The data revealed that over half of TCS' current workforce was hired after March 2020 when the pandemic struck. The company added 22,600 employees in FY23, bringing the total headcount to 614,795.

Over the past two years, TCS, along with other IT companies such as Infosys and Wipro, faced increased attrition rates, necessitating lateral hiring and leading to internal pay disparities. However, TCS expressed its commitment to addressing these issues over time through performance-linked wage increases, promotions, and voluntary attrition. The company also emphasised its strategy of recruiting over 1,50,000 campus graduates in the last two fiscal years to avoid a disruptive hiring frenzy.