C-BIA: Empowering Women in Tech!

Q: How to create a committed team in one of the most competitive of tech cities?

A: Recruit talented women returning to work, adapt to their needs and support their career goals!

Our Pune, India office focuses on advanced Data Analytics. It is here we are building our INSIGHT platform. This is a ‘On Demand’ analytics platform, initially for the Retail, Fashion and Finance sectors though future versions will support Healthcare and Research.

The concept of outsourced analytics is often referred to as ‘Analytics as a Service‘ or AaaS. It has the advantage of freeing clients from recruiting and retaining their own expensive analytics staff and enabling technologies.

The challenge of recruitment and retention in the Analytics field is as great in Pune as anywhere in the world. Domain knowledge takes time to acquire and demanding clients value experience.

By supporting skilled women to return to work, our Pune office has found a way to attract experienced staff. And to grow and satisfy both clients and returnees.

Dipti Bharatia (Pune partner) answers some questions on what makes the Pune office different, and the lessons learnt.

Dipti Bharatia

Q1:What are the main barriers to women returning to a career in tech in India?

There is demand for their talent. But long inflexible hours and long commutes are a major challenge for women with children & other family commitments. This means they often abandon their careers when they have children. And too often their skills become obsolete by the time they again commit to full-time working.

Q2:How did this focus on building a female tech team in C-BIA Pune come about?

From my own struggles to return to a career after some time out with my children. I quickly realised the challenge for women in tech wanting to resume a career. But as an entrepreneur, I had an opportunity to do something about it!

We decided to find a way to attract and support qualified women wanting to return to work. We believed this could be the way to address our local skills shortage.

I should say that our goal is not to build an all-female team – we want a team where both men and women can flourish.

Q3:Why have you been successful in attracting and retaining women?

By recognising the need to be flexible and adapt working hours and practices to accommodate their needs. This also enables them to return to work earlier than might otherwise be the case. This has economic and personal benefits for them, including independence and job satisfaction.

Q4:What are the lessons learned?

As the employer, you need to listen and be responsive. You need to want to understand their issues and give them the respect and support they need, and deserve.

This requires a change to the culture so takes time to develop and instil. They need to trust you, and you them and this takes time. This is not something that many Indian firms have done and would be very challenging on a large scale.

As we only opened the office 4 years ago we had the opportunity to ‘bake this in’ to our culture from the very beginning. It is now a part of our DNA.

Q5:What are the benefits for these women, and your clients?

As staff turnover is low, clients gain access to dependable skills. Women can deliver on their work commitments without excessive stress or pressure.

They also update their skills and re-discover confidence in their capabilities. It’s a win win for all parties, including us as the employer!

Q5:What are the major challenges?

The main one is the need to travel on client business. India is a big place but even local travel can be challenging. Staying away from home for just one night can be a difficult for some. As remote working becomes more common this will become less significant with time.