More women quit their jobs at India’s largest IT firm after it scrapped remote work

More women quit their jobs at India’s largest IT firm after it scrapped remote work
India's IT giant saw more women quit after it scrapped remote working policies.Kuni Takahashi/Getty Images
  • Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest IT firm, saw more female employees quit the past year.
  • The company said it felt this change was influenced by its decision to scrap remote work.

India's largest IT firm faced an unexpected consequence after scrapping its remote working policies: seeing a higher level of female employees quit.

Tata Consultancy Services, a multinational technology and consultancy firm with headquarters in Mumbai, ordered employees to return to the office at least three days a week last year and has said it will no longer encourage remote work — a policy that was initially necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm's annual report noted that this policy has backfired on its retention rates, resulting in a high number of female employees leaving the firm.

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"Historically, women's attrition at TCS has been similar or lower than men's attrition, so this is unusual," TCS's chief human resources officer Milind Lakkad said in the report.

He continued: "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."


Lakkad said that the higher attrition among women was a "setback" in its efforts to promote gender diversity.

There are over 220,000 women at the firm, making up about 35.7% of the company's workforce according to the report.

Lakkad further clarified in the report that the company reversed its remote working policies because junior employees and new hires suffered from not being integrated into the work culture in person.

He said: "Over half 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."


The company did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

A YouGov poll last year found that 57% of working women in the US said that remote working is important in a job, versus 44% of men.

This could be because some women, especially those with children, find it easier to balance their work and personal lives when working from home.