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Problems and Personal Consequences faced by the women employees working in Information Technology (IT) industry with special reference to Coimbatore city

 

Mrs.K.Gunasundari, Ph.D(PT)

Research Scholar, Karpagam University, Coimbatore-641 021.

 

and

 

Dr. G.Ravindran,

Assistant Professor, PG Department of Commerce,

TK Government Arts College, Vriddhachalam-606 001.

 

Abstract

 

Women in the modern era want to hold her family economically and are trying to balance her personal and professional life. She is facing a lot of troubles allied to work, kids and lot of personal problems. There is lot of psychological problems, inequity she feels at the work and it affects her family life and profession as well. Women in earlier days stayed at home to look after their household duties but now they started to maintain both work and home at the same time. Information Technology (IT) has transformed the way of human life during the last quarter of this century. The IT industry has great scope for people as it provides employment to technical and non-technical graduates. High salaries and social status connected with the IT sector has attracted women to take up IT jobs, but many suffer from various factors like late working hours, job related stress creates a lot of physical problems and mental pressure. The study covers Coimbatore city which recently gained importance for Information technology.

 

Keywords:  Women Employees, Information Technology, Physical and Mental problems.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The information technology (IT) industry has become one of the most robust industries in the world. Today the IT sector has emerged as a major global source in the area of growth and employment. The demand for IT services has increased substantially over the years due to easy accessibility and wide range products offered by the IT industry.  IT industry is a major and fastest growing industry in the country. Coimbatore is emerging as an IT hub next to Chennai.  It is an open truth that working women have to face problems just by virtue of their being women.  The age old belief of male superiority over women creates several hurdles for women at their place of work. Halford V. Cohen HH (2003) - says that Musculo-skeletal disorders, ocular disorders and psycho-social problems were some of the key health problems observed among women IT professionals. There is a need for implementation of the programs that include the concepts of ergonomics, health education, training of personnel to prevent and overcome the morbidity, as well as psycho-social problems among women employees in IT.

 

STRENGTH OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

 

The following are some of the strengths of Indian IT sector:

 

·         Highly skilled human resources; Quality of work;

·         Initiatives taken by the Government (setting up Hi-Tech Parks and implementation of e-governance projects); throughout the country.

·         Set-up of operations by many global players

·         Adopting Quality Standards such as ISO 9000, SEI CMM etc.

·         English-speaking professionals and Superiority telecommunications infrastructure.

 

WOMEN IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

 

Women in IT sector have attracted to take up IT jobs due to attractive high salaries and social status. It is the only industry which helps women to move to the higher positions in the large number. Huge job opportunities for educated women in tier II cities and smaller towns. In spite of growing employment opportunities, the women in the IT sector facing enormous problems.

 

·         Mental health problems like Sleep disturbances, Anxiety, Mental stress, Fatigue and Disturbance in life.

·         Physical health problems Musculoskeletal disorders, Digestive disorders, Constipation, Eye, voice and hearing Problems, Overweight /obesity, Backache ,Pain hand/wrists, Shoulder pain, Soreness, Dryness, Blurred vision, light sensitivity, Headache.

 

PROBLEMS FACED BY WOMEN EMPLOYEES IN IT FIELD

 

·         Physical discomfort and mental tension.

·         Late working hours, Long working hours at the desk

·         Job related pressure / stress , Deadlines to finish project

·         Problem of balancing work at home and office

·         Mental harassment, Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination, Marital Disputes.

·         Lack of Code of Conduct, Violence against Women

·         Lack of Self-Esteem and Distressed State of Mind

 

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

 

The study conducted by Kerala State Women's Commission (2010) - said high salaries and social status associated with the IT sector has attracted women to take up these jobs, but many suffer on account of various factors like late working hours and job related pressure creates a lot of physical discomfort and mental tension. Also women have to cope with practical problems of balancing work at home and office in our social and family set-up.  

Maria Angelin and Venkatramaraju (2009) - conducted a survey among 200 women working in different companies in Chennai. The study revealed that the main problem out of work and anger and irritation, digestive disorder, sleep disorder, depression etc.

 

D.H. McKnight, B. Philips, and B.C. Hardgrave (2009) - Research  found that turnover intention among IT professionals is explained by job satisfaction and workplace characteristics such as trust in senior management, information sharing, structural fairness and job security. Among them job satisfaction has the highest impact on behavioral intention to quit a job. The fairness of rewards, job satisfaction and perceived work load predict turnover intention among IT.

 

M.F. Reid, C.K. Riemenschneider, M.W. Allen, D.J. Armstrong (2009) - found that role ambiguity, perceived organizational support, leader-member exchange and task variety are important factors that explain most of the variance in the affective organizational commitment and job satisfaction of IT employees.

 

Adya, Monica P (2008) - Study revealed that while most women from South Asia did not identify career genderization in the workplace, American IT professionals perceived greater stereotyping and discrimination. Although both groups equally felt the pressures of work life balance, the impact of these pressures on long-term commitment to IT careers was felt differently across the two groups.

 

Phukan (2008) - A study revealed the fact that more than 73% of the women felt that managing the home and a career was a primary reason for their stress and the resulting poor health. In ability to focus on one’s own personal wellness, apportioning time for other activities becomes nearly impossible while juggling a demanding career and a home.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

 

Ø      To identify the various problems and personal consequences faced by women employees in IT industry with special reference to Coimbatore city.

Ø      To identify physical discomfort and Psychological Problems faced by women in the work environment.

Ø      To provide suggestions to reduce the problems faced by the women employees in IT industry.

 

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

 

This research aims to identify the various physical, psychological and mental problems faced by the women employees in IT industry. The women employees working in IT sector face some problems related to physical and psychological aspects. This study would enable IT industries to help the women employees to overcome their problems and also useful to the organizations to provide safe and adequate environment for women employees to balance and office and family set up.

 

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

 

  • The study is limited to identify the problems faced by women employees working in IT industry only.
  • It was very difficult for the researcher to meet the respondents at the working place during working hours.
  • The study is limited to Coimbatore city only and the personal bias among respondents is a limiting factor.

 

METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION

 

The study is mainly based on primary data from a well structured questionnaire. The respondents are contacted personally through convenient sampling method, during the working hours for the purpose of data collection.  The secondary sources of data are collected from published articles and internet. The questionnaire is divided into different parts like Demographic variables, Physical problems, Psychological problems, Personal consequences at work place. Several related questions were framed on each category by using both closed and open ended questions. All the women employees working in Coimbatore based IT companies are considered as population for study out of which 120 samples are taken for the study.

 

ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

 

TABLE - 1

 

DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS OF SAMPLE RESPONDENTS

 (Percentage are given in brackets)

Descriptions

Categories

No of respondents (Percentage)

Age(Years)

Below 25

 25-30

30-35

35 and Above

61(51)

32(27)

17(14)

10(8)

Marital Status

 

Married

Unmarried

48(40)

72(60)

Educational Qualification

 

Diploma holder

Graduate

Post graduate

15(13)

                       81(67)      

24(20)

Experience(Years)

 

Below 1

1-5

5-10

Above 10

21(17)

57(48)

33(27)

9(8)

Salary (Rs)

 

Below 20,000

20,001-30000

30,001- 40,000

40,001 and above

13(11)

42(35)

48(40)

17(14)

Source: primary data

 

The table- 1 depicts that 51% of the respondents are under the age group of below25, 27% of the respondents are between the age group of 25-30, 14% of the respondents are between the age group of 30 -35 and 8% of the respondents are between the age group of 35 and above. 60% of the respondents are unmarried and 40% of the respondents are married. 13% of the respondents are diploma holders 67% of the respondents are educated up to graduates and 20% of the respondents are qualified till post graduates.17% of the respondents have below 1 years of experience, 48% of the respondents have 1 - 5 years of experience, 27% of the respondents have 5 - 10 years and 8% of the respondents have more than 10 years. 11% of the respondents earn salary below 20,000. 35% of the respondents earn salary between 20,001- 30,000. 40% of the respondents earn salary between 30,001 - 40,000 and 14% of the respondents earn salary above 40,001.

 

TABLE - 2

 

PHYSICAL PROBLEMS FACED OUT OF WORK

 (Percentage are given in brackets)

Description

Category

Yes

No

Backaches

67(56)

53(44)

Repeated Cold & Headache

38(32)

82(68)

Continual Tiredness

66(55)

54(45)

Shoulder Pain

81(67)

39(33)

Digestive Problems

60(50)

60(50)

Blood Pressure

72(60)

48(40)

Feeling Angry & Irritable

75(63)

45(37)

Eye Problem

72(60)

48(40)

Menstrual problem

54(45)

66(55)

Strains

52(43)

68(57)

Source: primary data

           

The table-2 depicts the physical problems faced by the respondents, 56% of the respondents suffer from backaches, 32% of the respondents get frequent cold & headache, 55% of the respondents suffer from continual tiredness, 67% of the respondents have shoulder pain, 50% of the respondents have digestive disorder, 60% of the respondents suffer from high blood pressure, 63% of the respondents feel angry & irritable, 60% of the respondents have eye problem, 45% of the respondents have menstrual problem and 43% of the respondents suffer from strains.

 

TABLE - 3

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS

(Percentage are given in brackets)

Psychological Problems

Category

Yes

No

Anxiety

66(55)

54(45)

Depression

67(56)

53(44)

Faulty Eating Habits

54(45)

66(55)

Mental Tension

71(59)

49(41)

Mental Illness

47(39)

73(61)

Sleep Disturbance

66(55)

54(45)

Fear of future life

42(35)

78(65)

Sense of insecurity at work place

38(32)

82(68)

Source: primary data

           

The table-3 depicts that out of the total respondents taken for the study, 55% of the respondents suffer from anxiety, 56% of the respondents suffer from depression, 45% of the respondents have faulty eating habits, 59% of the respondents have mental tension, 39% of the respondents have mental illness, 55% of the respondents suffer from sleep disturbance and 35% of the respondents says they are fear about future and 32% says they feel Sense of insecurity at work place.

 

TABLE- 4

 

PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES AT WORKPLACE

 (Percentage are given in brackets)

 Descriptions

Categories

Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Never

Work cause problems with employees family or childcare responsibilities

22(19)

49(40)

24(20)

14(12)

11(9)

Conflict with colleagues

13(11)

20(17)

35(29)

39(32)

13(11)

Lack of interpersonal relationship

23(19)

22(18)

20(17)

34(28)

21(18)

Frequent commitment of mistakes

9(7)

20(17)

21(18)

41(34)

29(24)

Adverse family relations

28(23)

36(30)

26(22)

18(15)

12(10)

Feel of missing family

31(26)

38(32)

23(19)

19(16)

9(7)

Source: primary data

           

The table-4 shows that 19% of the respondents feel that always Work cause problems with employees family or childcare responsibilities, 40% of respondents says often it cause problem, 20% of respondents opinion is sometime, 12% of the respondents feel that rarely work cause problems and 9% of the respondents feel that work never cause problems with their family or childcare responsibilities. The table depicts that 11%, 19%, 7%, 23% and 26% of respondents opinion is always for the factors like Conflict with colleagues, Lack of interpersonal relationship, Frequent commitment of mistakes, Adverse family relations, Feel of missing family. 17%, 18%, 17%, 30% and 32% of respondent’s opinion is often. 19%, 29%, 17%, 18%, 22% and 19% says that they are sometimes affected from the variables related to for personal consequences at work place. 12%, 32%, 28%, 34%, 15% and 16% of respondents says they are rarely influenced by the variables like personal consequences at work place.

           

Finally the balance 9%, 11%, 18%, 24%, 10% and  7% of respondents are never affected from variables like Conflict with colleagues, Lack of interpersonal relationship, Frequent commitment of mistakes, Adverse family relations, Feel of missing family.

 

TABLE-5

 

CHI-SQUARE TEST

 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGE AND PHYSICAL PROBLEMS FACED OUT OF WORK.

H0: There is no significant relationship between age and physical problem faced out of work

H1: There is a significant relationship between age and physical problem faced out of work

Physical problem faced out of work

Table value

Chi-square value

Significance

Backaches

7.82

0.662375

 Not Significant

Repeated Cold & Headache

7.82

12.33332

 Significant

Continual Tiredness

7.82

5.555093

 Not Significant

Shoulder Pain

7.82

2.998486

 Not Significant

Digestive Problems

7.82

11.33117

Significant

Blood Pressure

7.82

2.397767

 Not Significant

Feeling Angry & Irritable

7.82

2.051559

 Not Significant

Eye Problem

7.82

7.127531

 Not Significant

Menstrual problem

7.82

12.09338

Significant

Strains

7.82

6.453748

 Not Significant

Source: primary data

Degree of freedom     : 3 and Level of significance: 0.05

 

The calculated value is greater than the table value for the age of sample respondents and Repeated Cold & Headache, Digestive Problems and Menstrual problem is dependent. Hence it is concluded that framed null hypothesis is rejected.

 

The table-5 indicates that calculated chi square values is less than the table value for the age and Backaches, Continual Tiredness, Shoulder Pain, Blood Pressure, Feeling Angry & Irritable, Eye Problem, Strains. Hence it is proved that framed null hypothesis is accepted.

 

TABLE-6

 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXPERIENCE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS

 

H0: There is no significant relationship between experience and psychological problems

H1: There is significant relationship between experience and psychological problems.

 

Psychological problems

Table value

Chi-square value

Significance

Anxiety

7.82

11.2807

Significant

Depression

7.82

2.087955

Not Significant

Faulty Eating Habits

7.82

7.428397

Not Significant

Mental Tension

7.82

6.77225

Not Significant

Mental Illness

7.82

3.737855

Not Significant

Sleep Disturbance

7.82

5.403745

Not Significant

Fear of future life

7.82

5.983357

Not Significant

Sense of insecurity at work place

7.82

7.934564

Significant

Source: primary data

Degree of freedom     : 3 and Level of Significance: 0.05

 

Hence from the above calculation it shows that the calculated value (2.087955, 7.428397, 6.77225, 3.737855, 5.403745, and 5.983357) for the variable Depression, Faulty Eating Habits, Mental Tension, Mental Illness, Sleep Disturbance and Fear of future life is lesser than the table value (7.82). So the constructed null hypothesis is accepted and there is no significant relationship. From the above table it is inferred that the calculated value [11.2807, 7.934564] is greater than the table value [7.82]. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected. So, there is significant relationship between variables.

 

TABLE-7

 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MARITAL STATUS AND PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES AT WORKPLACE

 

H0: There is no significant relationship between marital status and personal consequences at workplace.

H1: There is a significant relationship between marital status and personal consequences at workplace.

 

Personal consequences at workplace

Table value

Chi-square value

Significance

Work cause problems with employees family or childcare responsibilities

9.49

2.304238

Not Significant

Conflict with colleagues

9.49

3.062424

Not Significant

Lack of interpersonal relationship

9.49

11.6405

      Significant

Frequent commitment of mistakes

9.49

2.654867

Not Significant

Adverse family relations

9.49

9.430708

Not Significant

Feel of missing family

9.49

5.868444

Not Significant

Source: primary data

Degree of freedom      : 4 and Level of significance   : 0.05

 

The table-7 shows that relationship between marital status and Lack of interpersonal relationship are independent. The calculated value is greater than the table value. Hence it is concluded that framed null hypothesis is rejected. The table also reveals that relationship between marital status and Work cause problems with employee’s family or childcare responsibilities, Conflict with colleagues, Frequent commitment of mistakes, Adverse family relations, Feel of missing family is dependent. Thus it is concluded that framed null hypothesis is accepted.

 

TABLE-8

 

CORRELATION

 

1. Relationship Between Frequent Commitment of Mistakes and Work Cause Problems with Employees Family or Childcare Responsibilities, Conflict with Colleagues, Lack of Interpersonal Relationship,  Adverse Family Relations, Feel of Missing Family.

 

Description

r value

Result

Work cause problems with employees family or childcare responsibilities

-0.42857

Negative

Conflict with colleagues

0.59624

Positive

Lack of interpersonal relationship

0.70169

Positive

Adverse family relations

-0.6266

Negative

Feel of missing family

-0.6012

Negative

Source: primary data

        

The two independent variable Frequent Commitment of Mistakes with Work cause problems with employee’s family or childcare responsibilities, Adverse family relations, Feel of missing family are correlated. The value of the correlation is -0.42857, -0.6266, -0.6012 which is negatively correlated with the variables.

 

The value r = +0.59624, +0.70169 which indicate that there is positive correlation between Frequent Commitment of Mistakes with Conflict with colleagues, Lack of interpersonal relationship. It shows that both variable moves in a same direction.

 

FINDINGS

 

Ø      Majority of the respondent’s opinion is that they are affected by physical problems like Backache (56%), Continual Tiredness (55%), Shoulder Pain (67%), Blood Pressure (60%), Feeling Angry & Irritable (63%), and Eye Problem (60%).

Ø      Out of total sample respondents 55%, 56%,45%,49%,39%,39%,55%,35%,32% are affected by psychological problems like Anxiety, Depression, Faulty eating habits, Mental tension, Mental illness, Sleep disturbance, Fear about future, Feel Sense of insecurity at work place.

Ø       As personal consequences is concerned many of the respondents are influenced by various factors like Work cause problems with employees family or childcare responsibilities(40%), Conflict with colleagues(17%), Lack of interpersonal relationship(18%), Frequent commitment of mistakes(17%), Adverse family relations(30%), Feel of missing family(32%).

 

SUGGESTIONS

 

Ø      A change in the working schedule should be brought which would help the women workers to overcome negative factors affecting concentration, job performance, social and family interactions and general health.

Ø      The organizations should have a code of conduct for its employees which would help them to overcome the mental harassment at their work place. Some of the women employees are affected by depression, mental stress, mental illness and strain; such affected women should be helped in resuming a normal life by way of providing them counseling and medical aid.

Ø       Most of the psychological problems can be solved by doing Yoga and meditation. The company/organization should provide healthcare services within the campus.

Ø      A health food canteen with a nutritionist and dietician who can plan the daily healthy menus will go a long way in providing nutritious food which will help boost their metabolism and give them stamina to perform in their demanding job. An attending psychologist should also be employed to deal with emotional problems that arise to them.

    

CONCLUSION

 

The number of women employed by the information technology sector is rapidly growing. Computers have become a very important part of everyday lives, and information technology has affected almost everyone, from seeking employment to consulting for the health. Information technology sector organizations have more attraction for women. This implies that more important is to utilize the expertise of women than to drag them in all spheres of life, without having a regard for the requirements of their personal lives. The project work identified various physical and psychological problems faced by women employees in IT industry. The suggestions have been provided if it is followed personally by the women workers and also by the IT organizations will pave way to reduce the problems.

 

REFERENCES

 

Books

 

1.      Aswathppa (2007),”Human Resource Management”, Tata McGrawHill, New Delhi, Pg: 492 – 511.

2.      Gupta S.P. “Statistical Methods” – 3rd edition, Sultan Chands & Sons, New Delhi 1998

3.      Dr.Kanka.S.S (2009),” Human Resource Management”, S Chand, New Delhi,            Pg: 231 – 235.

4.      C.R. Kothari,” Research Methodology”: methods and techniques (2nd edition:       New Delhi: Viswa prakasham, 1996) Ch 3, pp 30-38.

 

Journals

 

1.      Kerala state women commission (2010) Women in IT sector suffer from mental tension.

2.      Maria Angelin  Jayanthi D and Venkatramaraju D (2009) ,Nightshift Hurdles for women in BPO with reference to Chennai city, ASBM journal of management , Vol. 2(2), 2009

3.      D.H. McKnight, B. Philips, and B.C. Hardgrave, “Which reduces IT turnover intention the most: Workplace characteristics or job characteristics,” Information & Management, vol. 46, pp. 167-174, 2009.

4.      M.F. Reid, C.K. Riemenschneider, M.W. Allen, D.J.Armstrong, “Information technology employees in state government A study of affective organizational commitment, job involvement, and job satisfaction,” The American Review of Public Administration, vol. 38, no. 1,41-61, 2009.

5.      Adya, Monica,”Women at work: Differences in IT career experiences and perceptions between South Asian and American women”, Human Resource Management; 2008, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p601-635.

6.       Phukan P (2008), the changing faces of Indian Youth: Thanks to the BPO industry, path2 USA, June 2008.