The impact of call centre employment on women in India

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The market for global business process outsourcing (BPO) is predicted to triple in size by 2020 (NASSCOM 2012). Such explosive growth has had and will continue to have huge economic benefits for Asia. The benefits are clearly manifest in India and the Philippines, who are both leading offshore outsourcing (O&O) destinations for the BPO industry. In India, this development has resulted in an initiative to increase the number of women in the BPO workforce by a staggering 50 per cent. The implications of such a huge push has tremendous social impact, yet little is known about the BPO industry and the role of language in these O&O destinations. The present paper focuses on the impact of English and the role of women in this global workforce by addressing the following question: ‘What is the impact of the BPO industry, and specifically call centre employment, on women in India?’ Drawing on data collected through interviews, the findings show that women's lives have changed in a number of different ways. Informants reported experiencing greater freedom, financial independence and other significant changes. The findings provide a lucid representation of the role of English language in globalisation within the BPO industry in Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-520
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


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