Women are breaking the glass ceiling across industries and enterprises, rising to the top echelons of company departments and management. Nevertheless, the participation of women in the technology sector, and more specifically across the data science domain, is still significantly constrained by low participation fueled by possible hiring stereotypes and mindsets around women in science functions v/s women in art functions.
The greater adoption and scaling of data science services, such as predictive analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), across all industries from Industrials to Media, enterprises ranging from large to small, and organization functions covering HR and Marketing, renders the representation of women across the data science domains all the more significant as the representation impacts not a single, isolated enterprise function but the entire organizational ecosystem across industries.
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The broader data science domain has experienced significant growth in India over in the past couple of years. In 2019, the industry was valued at $3.03 Bn, and, considering that the domain will double by 2025, the analytics space will experience 12.2% CAGR. Organizations are bringing forth capabilities not just in analytics as a service but also in specialized data science domains, including Computer Vision, Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing. Moreover, Indian AI startups received funding of $762 mn from global investors in 2019, reflecting the strength and growth of capabilities across Analytics, AI, and ML.
Nonetheless, the role of Women in AI and Analytics needs to be studied and considered, to gauge the pace of change for Women vis-à-vis the broader growth across the Data Science domains.
- As of February 2020, women represent 27.8% of the AI / Analytics workforce in India. As mentioned, this workforce delivers all AI and Analytics services originating from India regardless of the stakeholder or client type, type of firm providing the service, and location of client/stakeholder.
- Women in AI in India constitute 8.1% of the global women in AI workforce.
• Close to 79% of the women AI workforce is concentrated in organizations with personnel greater than 10000 personnel.
• The median salary of women in AI is INR 10.7 Lakhs while the median experience is 5.8 years.
• The average women AI workforce across organizations is 160 personnel.
Women in AI in India
This section covers the findings of the demographics and experience levels for women in AI.
Work Experience: The median work experience of women analytics professionals in India is 5.8 years. This is much lower than the median experience for the entire AI workforce in India at 7.4 years. This difference exists because a larger proportion of women have recently started taking up jobs in this domain – recent women graduates and post-graduates have taken up a greater number of positions in the new Data Science domains. This recent entry has made the pool of women professionals in analytics much younger.
The women analytics professionals with work experience of fewer than 5 years make up the majority of the workforce – 53%, with the greatest concentration of professionals in the 2-5 years’ experience bracket at 37%. 13% of women analytics professionals have more than 10 years of work experience. This total experience representation may not necessarily entirely be in analytics as these professionals may have transitioned to this space over a period of time.
WOMEN IN AI ACROSS COMPANIES IN INDIA
Percentage of Women AI Personnel by Company Type (excluding Boutique AI firms):
- Domestic IT (45.6%), MNC IT (25.5%), Sector-specific firms (18.1%) and Consulting firm (10.5%) make up the largest proportion of women analytics personnel. These IT firms include enterprises, such as TCS, Wipro, HCL Tech, Infosys, IBM, Cognizant, and Accenture
- Sector-specific firms include:
- Consumer-focused firms, which process millions of volumes of customers’ data and data sets each day, understandably constitute a significant share of the Women AI employee personnel. These include Consumer & Healthcare firms at 5.2%
- Organizations that fall under the manufacturing-focused Automotive, Industrials, and Energy industries, include Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Vedanta, HPCL, IOCL, and BPCL, to name a few. These firms – driven by broad-based data including macro-economic data, commodity price fluctuations, OEM / supplier data, and large sales volumes and revenues – make up 4.8% of the women AI employee share.
Banking and Financial firms, both domestic – State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and multinational – JP Morgan, American Express, and Blackrock, make up 4.5% of women AI employee base
The remaining sector-specific firms include Semiconductor, Network, Telecom & Media, that makeup 3.6% of the women AI employee proportion.
SALARIES FOR WOMEN IN AI IN INDIA
Women in AI are representing an increasing share of the larger AI employee base. While their representation increases across Data Science domains, the salaries earned by women personnel are still significantly lower than the median salaries of the wider AI employee workforce across locations and experience levels. The median salary in India of women AI personnel is INR 10.7 Lakhs across all experience levels, locations, and skillsets.
This figure is 26% lower than the median salary for all AI personnel. Women in the salary bracket of INR 3-6 Lakhs make up the highest concentration of women AI personnel – at 30.9%. Almost 43% of women professionals in AI command a salary of less than INR 6 Lakhs. Approximately 17% of the women professionals draw a salary greater than INR 15 Lakhs.
Mumbai emerges as the destination for highest salaries for Women in Analytics at 11.9 Lakhs per annum as median salary, followed by Bengaluru at 10.9 Lakhs.
• The sector-location niche of Mumbai and the higher cost of living in the city has pushed up the salaries of women AI personnel to the highest level across cities, while Bengaluru has come in 2nd – signifying the city’s strength as a hub of data science domains for women employees as well
Similarly, the BPO/KPO hub of Delhi NCR, registers the median salaries for Women AI personnel at the 3rd place at 10.5 Lakhs
Companies based in Chennai offer the lowest salaries at INR 8.5 Lakhs. Although Chennai does figure numerous analytics start-up enterprises with women employees, the low cost of living in the city, a key factor in salaries offered, has brought down the median salary of Chennai.