Despite the efforts of tech leaders to hire more women, the proportion of female technologists is not growing as fast as many would like. Many women who leave the tech industry cite maternity leave as a major factor in their decision. Geetha Kannan, managing director of AnitaB.org India, stated that many women in technology feel they must “make a choice between their child and work,” and decide they cannot return to their jobs due to a lack of support from their company.
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill is therefore a welcome change. The Indian government passed the bill this year, offering women paid maternity leave for 26 weeks (up from the existing 12 weeks), and will benefit at least 1.8 million women. “The advantage of additional time and money will surely ease the pressure women felt on having to return to work after just three months,” Geetha said.