Take your stand!
Lately, mornings are spent reading horrifying instances in the remote villages of the country, the obnoxious statements made by political leaders and the shocking facts being revealed by celebrities. I drown them with a sip of tea, but the simmering sentiment nags the entire day.
Office of course, provides no solace. It is shocking to hear the comments made by certain colleagues on matters close to women. The fight is not necessarily against men. I have come across male peers who have a broader outlook in life and shook hands with women whose views were the size of a pea. The fight is against all people who opine that women should follow or behave in a certain way to avoid attention.
Silence can be your biggest enemy. Do not maintain silence when you hear general slaying of womens character. Be clear on what they want to say and then reason with them by constantly referring to examples which they can relate to.
Take due credit for your work. Many Indian organizations have a conservative modus operandi. Though the culture is changing, still gender stereotyping is common. A recent survey indicated that almost 50% companies had only 10% women in leadership roles. In such workplaces, women need to work harder to prove their merit.
Women Grievance Cell. In light of the atrocities against women, the government of India has passed the The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The Act defines sexual harassment at the work place, creates a mechanism of complaints and sets guidelines that traditional office set-ups with clear employee-employee relationship need to adhere to. If your organization does not have a Cell yet, ensure to bring it up with the HR. Check the credibility of the members in the Cell for a transparent judgment, in case any harassment cases surface.
Safety comes first. If your work involves working late nights, then the organization is bound to offer women employees transport facilities. Discuss it with your women colleagues and ask for what is rightly yours.
Your designation and rapport with the boss is irrelevant when your character and safety is in peril. Raise your voice and ask for help. You will be surprised at the number of people coming forward to assist you. It is time for your colleagues and organization to become sensitive to the respect and demand that women deserves.