“It is natural to be attracted or feel a sense of closeness to a colleague since we spend most of our time at the workplace,” explains Chryslynn D’Costa, head, diversity and inclusion, Serein Inc.
Recognizing the impact that even subtle acts of harassment can have on the mental and emotional welling of the person facing the harassment, the law recommends an innovative redressal mechanisms. The institution of an IC in every organization ensures that complaints are addressed to in respectful and diligent manner
Ishani puts it simply – “We don’t. We think physical is the only form, but sexist jokes are also sexual harassment – even on SMS, WhatsApp, or email messages.” She believes that it is an issue of culture at the company.
Ishani Roy, Founder, and CEO, Serein, a Bengaluru-based consulting firm that is using a data-driven approach to promote diversity and inclusion at the workplace, says, “The Uber incident highlights that ‘growth at all costs’ approach that has been glamourised doesn’t really work in the long run."
Class has many facets that affect employee’s recruitment and promotion in an organisation. In India, language, the accent with which English is spoken, sense of dressing and presentation are likely to influence a recruiter’s decision. Candidates that are assumed to belong to the higher class are thought to be worthy of being responsible for money, excelling at a task or seen as a representative of the best.
In a survey, Ficci and EY found that 36 per cent of Indian companies and 25 per cent of multinational corporations in India are not compliant with this Act. Even when companies form PoSH committees, parochial attitudes persist. It’s not uncommon to hear a business leader gripe that women use the law to their advantage or that it’s an unnecessary overhead for a business.
According to Chryslynn D'Costa, Head: Diversity and Inclusion at Serein, “Some companies believe that merely having an anti-sexual harassment policy or forming an internal committee (IC) implies compliance with the law. A common misconception of many employees is that the law only covers physical forms of misconduct." She told YourStory,
Addressing microaggressions is not a finite endeavour but requires consistent efforts to build a culture where microaggressions are recognised in the moment and addressed immediately by leadership and colleagues. It balances the onus of building an equitable space to all members of the organisation.