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Bangalore: Wipro Ltd., India’s third-largest software services company, on Tuesday named former McKinsey & Co. executive Ireena Vittal as a director on its board effective immediately—the company’s first woman board member in three decades.

Gulbanoo Premji, chairman Azim Premji’s mother, was a director on the Wipro board for 17 years till 16 September, 1983, and no woman has been on the board since.

Vittal’s appointment comes after chairman Premji said at Wipro’s annual shareholder meeting in July that the company would bring on a woman board member before its next annual meeting.

Vittal’s appointment marks one of the few instances of women representation on the boards of top Indian information technology (IT) firms. Bangalore-based rival Infosys Ltd. has one woman on its board—former Kraft Foods executive Ann M. Fudge—while Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. has no woman board member. HCL Technologies Ltd. also has just one woman board member—Roshni Nadar Malhotra, daughter of founder Shiv Nadar.

According to a survey conducted by DataQuest in 2012, women account for 22% of the Indian IT sector’s 3 million-strong workforce.

“She (Vittal) brings in decades of analytical insights on emerging markets, industry growth models as well as diverse experience in the public and private sectors,” chairman Premji said in a regulatory filing. “I am confident that Wipro will gain from her acumen and experience.”

Vittal, a former McKinsey partner whose areas of specialization include emerging markets, agriculture and urban development, will serve as an independent director. She holds a business administration degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and serves as an independent director on the boards of Titan Industries Ltd. and Axis Bank Ltd.

Last year, Wipro replaced Martha Helena Bejar from its executive council, its highest decision-making body, with company old-timer Pinaki Kar to lead its US business Infocrossing. Bejar, a former Microsoft Corp. executive, had joined Wipro in July 2009 as its global sales head.