A recent survey conducted by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) has found that ITeS-BPO companies have registered a significant decline in work productivity during the last fortnight.
One in three female workers has either reduced working hours after sunset or quit jobs in the wake of the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.
The incident has impacted productivity of women workforce not only in Delhi-NCR region, but also in other cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and Dehradun.
ASSOCHAM surveyed 2,500 women and found that the productivity has come down by 40 per cent among women in the BPO-ITeS in Delhi-NCr.
There are about 2,200 ITES and BPO units in the Delhi-NCR region and over 2.5 lakh women work in the sector here.
The survey highlights that nearly 82 per cent of the women respondents said they have started leaving soon after sunset. The anxiety is more among those who travel by buses, chartered buses, three-wheelers and the Metro.
About 89 per cent of those participated in the survey in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad said they have begun insisting on leaving offices on time, adds the survey.
Majority of the respondents of Delhi-NCR said the atmosphere not was “bad” to work in BPO and ITeS sector (67 per cent). Ten per cent termed it “good”, while 15 per cent said they were satisfied with the conditions.
A few respondents also said they often receive indecent calls, especially during night shifts.
Releasing the study, ASSOCHAM secretary general D S Rawat said BPO, KPO and ITeS employees were the most vulnerable to both physical and non-physical attacks, especially after duty hours.
“Security is one of the major concerns for the women in these sectors. The odd hours of work and the long distances of travel expose women to dangerous situations,” Rawat said.
In the absence of proper transport facilities by the organisation, commutation becomes difficult.
Nearly 82 per cent women surveyed said they feared travelling by public transport at odd hours, in comparison to 22 per cent men. Apart from the fear of being raped, they expressed concerns like acid-throwing and molestation.
Only 52 per cent of the respondents perceived better pay package to be a major attraction for working in shifts. The rest of the respondents said there there was no other choice.