Global software giant Accenture is now aiming to increase the representation of women in its worldwide workforce to 40% by 2017 and also wants to ensure male and female employee are paid “fairly and equitably”.The company said it has already made “progress” in raising the female headcount to 40% of its global staff by 2017. Currently, it has around 3.6 lakh employees globally.”At Accenture, our commitment to inclusion and diversity starts at the top, and we empower all of our people â€” including our more than 130,000 (1.3 lakh) women â€” to lead,” said Pierre Nanterme, chairman and CEO of Accenture.Women accounted for nearly 39% of the over 1 lakh new appointments made by the company in its previous fiscal year, which ended on 31 August, 2015. Last month, the company had said it would make a similar number of new hires in its current financial year, ending August 2016.”We believe strongly that gender equality is essential for a high-performing, talent-led organisation. This commitment extends to pay, and we strive to ensure that all our people â€” women and men â€” are compensated fairly and equitably from the moment we hire them through the milestones of their careers here,” Business Standard quoted Nanterme as saying.Currently, four of the 11 independent directors on Accenture’s board are women, and the company has three woman members in its Global Management Committee, which has “ultimate accountability” for operating the business, said the company in a statement on Saturday.Besides, the company’s divisions in the United States, India, China and the Philippines are led by women.”The company has ongoing rigorous processes to identify potential pay discrepancies, looking carefully at specific roles in each country, and is proactive at all stages of an individual’s career,” it said.In August, Accenture had appointed Rekha Menon as the new chairperson for its India operations following the resignation of Avinash Vashistha in July. The appointment made Menon to become Accenture’s first woman head in India.