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Women working in the software industry in India

Women working in the software industry in India

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Published by mani_pande
One of the first academic studies looking at the employment of women in the Indian software industry: specifically looking at the kind of technologies women use at work and their educational history.
One of the first academic studies looking at the employment of women in the Indian software industry: specifically looking at the kind of technologies women use at work and their educational history.

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Published by: mani_pande on Apr 23, 2010
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ByMANI PANDEB.A (Hons.), University of Delhi, 1992M. A., Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1994M.Phil., Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1997
--------------------------------------------------------AN ABSTRACT OF A DISSERTATIONSubmitted in partial fulfillment of theRequirements for the degreeDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYDepartment of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work College of Arts and SciencesKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITYManhattan, Kansas2004Chapter OneIntroduction
Over the past several decades, the nation of India has developed into an importantlocation in the global software industry. Thousands of new jobs have been created asmultinational software firms have established Indian branch operations, and numerousdomestic start-up firms have been established to produce software. As part of this process, an increasing number of Indian women have entered the labor market, receivededucational training in software development, and obtained employment in the softwareindustry. It has been estimated that women comprise about 12 per cent of the total work force (National Association of Software and Service Companies, NASSCOM, 2000).Presently, little is known about the types of jobs being obtained by Indian women,although initial evidence suggests that women are concentrated in low-skilled and low- paying jobs in the software industry in India. This research is among the first studies toshed light upon the status of women in the software industry in India. The research designfor the study is qualitative involving field research with in-depth, personal interviews of female workers in the software industry. The research site is the city of New Delhi, India.Female workers employed in the software industry were identified for participation in thestudy through the use of snowball sampling.This chapter begins by providing a brief overview of technology and skill-traininglife cycle model, and examining whether it is applicable to computer technology. Next Iwill examine the important factors that produce changes in the job and labor queues,thereby providing opportunities to women to join certain types of occupations in theIndian software industry. I will also provide a brief background of theories that have beendeveloped to understand the relationship between gender and technology. I will then2
 proceed to provide the justification of research. Last, I will provide the organization of the chapters of the dissertation.
Research Problem
It is a major contention of this study that the theory of job and labor queues asgiven by Reskin and Roos (1990), and the theory of technology and skill life cycles asgiven by Shanklin, Ryan and Flynn are applicable in understanding the positions of female workers in the Indian software industry. Economists have argued that a newtechnology, introduced slowly at first, becomes more widely accepted as intense andheavily financed research and development efforts lead to better performance.Eventually, it reaches a plateau of its performance limits. During the last stage, itcompetes with a new technology until the superior technology wins and captures themarket (Ford and Ryan, 1981; Shanklin and Ryans, 1984).The history of computer programming clearly illustrates that computer technologyhas a technology life cycle. The development of the computer is intricately linked withwartime needs. The first modern computer in the United States, Electronic NumericalIndicator and Computer (ENIAC), was developed during World War II to calculate ballistic missile trajectories. The British Colossus, completed in 1943, was used tounscramble German radio transmissions. These early/first-generation computers wereclumsy machines, composed largely of electromechanical or electrical switches regulated by vacuum tubes, making operations highly painstaking. A turning point in computer technology was the introduction of the stored program/second-generation computers. It is3

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