The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment is in full swing. After revealing big names of Bollywood, the wave has started influencing other industries including journalism, media and even politics. After a deep research, Moneycontrol has made a report according to which 588 cases of sexual harassment were filed across Nifty companies in FY18.
Before going further let’s read what is the meaning of sexual harassment. According to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, a series of unwelcome remarks and actions constitute sexual harassment. These include physical advances, demand for sexual favours, making sexually-coloured remarks, as well as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, is considered to be sexual harassment at the workplace.
IT sector which has names like Wipro, Infosys and TCS includes accounted for 244 of the total complaints filed. Wipro alone reported 101 cases. Oil & gas companies had a low percentage of sexual harassment complaints were filed as these companies have the lowest the gender ratio.
Interestingly, there were 5 banks among the top 10, including ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SBI and HDFC Bank. One positive sign from this report is that only 2-4 percent of these complaints are pending. This means women are filing complaints and companies have been responding to their issues. Below is the complete list of top 50 companies:
Also, some companies are taking proactive measures to prevent such incidents. For example, Hindustan Unilever female employees are discouraged from working beyond 8.30 pm. Any instances of late working are detected by the attendance card reader and sent to the employee’s manager automatically.
ICICI Bank has a quick response team (QRT) to respond to women employees if they are uncomfortable while working. Each QRT is a specially equipped vehicle with GPS-enabled and carries a stretcher and fire extinguishers along with a team trained to deal with medical and personal safety-related emergencies.
Urbanisation has led to increased job creation among women in metro cities and the number of female workers will grow further in the coming years. So, this becomes a responsibility of every company to ensure proper safety.