More and more, startups are being criticized for their lack of diversity and inclusion. Despite many thinking of the issue as a Silicon Valley / American problem, the issue of startup diversity has spread as far east as India, with many companies now looking for ways to improve their numbers. According to staffing agency TeamLease, startups in India have increased “the number of women they hired by nearly 50% with female employees now accounting for a fifth of the nearly 100,000 people employed in the sector.
A few of these startups that have seen increases in gender inclusion include Zomato (with 48% women employees), Snapdeal (35%), Paytm (35%), InMobi (29%) and Razorpay (25%), as per data from the staffing agency. “A recent study by FundersClub on Silicon Valley startups showed that companies such as Uber had 36% women in the workplace while Airbnb had 43%.” Despite the potential change in startup trajectory, there is still the issue of job positions being taken in these companies.
As the Economic Times India shows, women hired at startups were mostly for entry level positions in customer service, support, or HR roles. The percentage of women in tech roles are still low with less than 1 in 10 people being female. The major reason for this is the lack of women in engineering. “For example, the number of female students at IIT-Madras stands at 1,023 out of a total student population of 9,140 — just 11%.”
Similar to America, increase female interest in engineering is a must for more women to take up jobs in the field of STEM. Still, this is a new a good sign within Indian startups and can be a building block for more gender diversity in the future.