Companies put their 'fair' foot forward

— The Times of India
Pune
India

​A senior human resource consultant recollects how a decade ago sexual harassment at workplace found a two-point mention in the HR policies she prepared for various companies. A decade later, the few lines on this nature of harassment have turned into a three-page document, listing out in detail what amounts to sexual harassment and laying out policies and procedures for the employer to follow to keep their workplaces sanitized along with a properly spelt out grievance mechanism.

Industry insiders note that most employers now have or at least try to keep a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment cases. The approach is both preventive and corrective as nobody wants to take chances of earning a reputation that their office is unsafe or non-conducive for women employees. Take for instance, Outsourced IT products developer Cybage conducts HR Interface sessions weekly across all offices for employees to come forward and raise their concerns.

Heads of human resource departments note that there is a concerted effort to keep their offices clean. "Should an undesired incident of harassment take place, the company has a stringent policy in place to take disciplinary actions against any such offensive behavior," said Elston Pimenta, Head of Human Resource at Cybage Software Pvt. Ltd.  According to a company communication, "treating each other with dignity and respect forms an intrinsic part of providing the right work environment."