The attrition rate amongst women has outpaced that of men in Tata Consultancy Services owing to the company’s stern mandate to end work from home, the IT bellwether said in its Integrated Annual Report for 2022-23.
"Historically, women's attrition at TCS has been similar or lower than men's attrition, so this is unusual. There might be other reasons but intuitively, 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 normalized," said Milind Lakkad, Chief Human Resources Officer, TCS.
Women employees constitute 35.7% of TCS' workforce. As on March 31, 2023, TCS' workforce stood at 6,14,795, with a net addition of 821 employees in Q4 and 22,600 for FY23. In the last financial year, the IT major onboarded more than 44,000 freshers. In FY23, the attrition rate continued to trend down and was at 20.1%. The company has not revealed the percentage of attrition rate amongst women employees but said that the higher attrition is a setback to Tata Group's efforts to promote gender diversity.
"The higher attrition among women in FY 2023 is a setback to our efforts to promote gender diversity but we are doubling down on it. Focused leadership development programs like iExcel are driving tremendous change," Lakkad said.
According to Lakkad, of all the leadership positions filled with internal candidates in FY 2023, women made up 23% of the selected candidates, even though they account for only 14% of the applicant pool. "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. Likewise, in our external hiring, women make up 38.1% of our net hires this year, versus 35.7% in our workforce," said Lakkad.
Like its peers, the IT major has issued stern directives for the 'work-from-office' policy for its employees. The company has reportedly made a 12-day office presence mandatory for its employees. Failure in compliance would reportedly result in a deduction in the salary.
"Work-from-home is definitely more convenient for everybody, but there were drawbacks. Tenured employees who are well networked within the organization can work effectively and even collaborate virtually using the social capital built up over the years. That isn’t the case with more junior employees. Workplace essentials like collaboration, mentorship and team building suffered a lot in these two years," Lakkad said.
"Then there is the matter of organizational culture. Over half of our workforce today was hired after March 2020. New employees get acculturated through physical interactions with senior colleagues and leaders, by observing and following their behaviors and ways of thinking. Without those interactions, employee engagement as well as acculturation got badly impacted. All these factors led us to gradually bring back people to our offices during the year," Lakkad added.
TCS reported a 14.8% year-on-year jump in its consolidated net profit at ₹11,392 crore for the quarter ended March 2023. Revenue of India's largest software services firm rose 17% year-on-year to ₹59,162 crore in the fourth quarter of 2022-23. The company's operating margin for Q4 FY23 stood at 24.5% while the net margin came in at 19.3%. The IT giant announced a final dividend of ₹24 per share.