TCS jolted by mass resignations of female employees protesting end of remote work
14 June, 2023 | Disha Singh
TCS employs over 600,000 people, with women comprising 35% of its workforce. In the fiscal year 2023, the company managed to retain 38.1% of its female employees.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of India’s largest IT firms, is facing an unexpected situation as it discontinues remote work for its employees after three years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy change has led to a surge in resignations, particularly among female staff members.
TCS has been recognized for its efforts to promote gender diversity and provide employment opportunities for women. The company acknowledges that the decision to end remote work arrangements is a significant factor contributing to the increased resignation rate among female employees.
TCS aims to establish a structured hybrid work model by 2025 and has emphasized a focus on working from the office. However, this shift has sparked a broader discussion regarding its impact on the female workforce. TCS’s chief human resources officer, Milind Lakkad, stated in the company’s annual report that historically, women have had lower attrition rates compared to their male counterparts at TCS.
The recent trend of women leaving the workforce is seen as unusual and not driven by discrimination. Lakkad suggests that the disruption caused by the pandemic in domestic arrangements may have deterred some women from returning to the office even after the situation normalized.
TCS employs over 600,000 people, with women comprising 35% of its workforce. In the fiscal year 2023, the company managed to retain 38.1% of its female employees, and women hold the majority of top positions within the company. However, TCS experienced a significant reduction in its workforce by over 20% in the previous fiscal year.
The high attrition rate among specific demographic cohorts, such as gender, raises concerns for employers. It can negatively impact employer branding, the ability to attract future talent, and undo years of diversity and inclusion efforts. Workforce reductions and declines in trajectories can also affect investor perceptions.
TCS has emphasized the importance of working from the office for reasons such as team building, mentorship, and collaboration. Meanwhile, other companies, like Access Healthcare, are allowing high-performing employees to work from home permanently to meet their work-life balance needs. The increasing demand for remote work has received positive feedback from employees, and companies that eliminate this option are witnessing an increase in resignations.
Working from home has become widely accepted globally, including in India. A survey conducted in the United States revealed that 25% of workers have chosen to never return to the office.