Gender Pay Gap 2023: Are women getting equal opportunities in Tech?


There is an unadjusted gender pay gap in the IT sector in 2023, according to Aon’s latest estimates, as reported by the Economic Times. There is a gender pay gap of 28 per cent to 30 per cent as women climb up the corporate ladder, while for junior management, it is 8 per cent to 10 per cent, the report added.

However, the data suggested an improvement in the gender pay gap varied between 34 per cent and 35 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic, as per the report.

In line with the global trend, women in India faced a decline in non-inclusive behaviours in 2023 than in 2022. The instance fell by almost 10 percentage points to 48 per cent, according to ‘2023 Women @ Work Report’ by Deloitte.

LiveMint spoke with working women and experts to understand the current scenario, outlook and reason behind the improvement.

“Women, on average, are paid about 20 per cent less than men globally,” said Preeti Rawat, Professor – HR, K J Somaiya Institute of Management, quoting an ILO study from 2018.

Reason behind the gender pay gap


Explaining the myriads of reasons behind the gap, Rawat said, “Globally, the gap widens for women of colour, immigrant women and young mothers (classic ‘motherhood penalty’).

Personally, “I have not seen much bias now, but I do feel maternity leave and a gap might be a reason for a gap,” said Pahilajani.

“The gender gap in tech begins much earlier than a job, i.e. in education, with only ~20 per cent of engineering students being women,” said Karthik Sridharan, Co-Founder and CEO of

While Indian societal norms and expectations from women is also a part of the reason why women get held back in their career, it is a woman “who is expected to take a break to look after the children in their growing up years. The concept of collective responsibility is yet to sink in and finds favour with very few,” said Geeta Kapur, Director HR, SJVN.

“I do find reluctance on the part of women to deliver, say, at odd hours or at difficult locations,” Kapur further added.


What’s driving improvement?


With hybrid and WFH models, women have been able to work at odd hours.

Women reported better hybrid working experiences than in 2022. However, more women in India working in hybrid environments reported a lack of predictability (28% now vs 15% in 2022) and flexibility (32% now vs 13% in 2022), as well as clarity around their employer’s expectations compared to last year, according to the Deloitte’s report.

“My office provides a cab after 7:30 pm, and if the last drop is for females, then a guard comes along,” Pahilajani said.

However, the drive to have a diverse workforce “is limited to bigger companies”, she further added.

“Companies are launching fair policies for gender-neutral hiring and payscale and focus more on the talent/skill sets. Women’s awareness and acknowledgement of our skills and capabilities help us be able to ask for what we deserve,” said Namita Anand, Associate Manager, Houlihan Lokey.

The Improvement Scope


Elaborating on the ways to further improve the gender pay gap, Sridharan said, “To enhance access to senior roles, it is crucial for women to firstly have long careers. For example, in the Indian context, this includes facilitating the return of young mothers to the workforce.”

Flexible work hours and hybrid mode seem like a solution. The tech industry, with inherent flexibility in timings and location, can set an example in reducing the gender pay gap, according to Sridharan.

“Closing the gender pay gap requires a multipronged approach (besides the law on minimum wages) focusing on reducing unconscious bias, ‘ableism’, and patriarchal values, thereby supporting women’s empowerment for decent work,” Rawat further added.


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Updated: 21 Nov 2023, 06:40 PM IST

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