Women more secure in IT sector

While a Government Order (GO) mandating a committee for protection of women against sexual harassment in all workplaces is being formulated, majority of the female workforce in IT companies of the city already have access to stringent security mechanisms.

30 per cent

Women constitute over 30 per cent of the colossal IT workforce in the city; and security provisions for them in the sector are superior to those in most other sectors. Several small, medium and big IT companies have taken several initiatives for the security of their female employees.

“Although the ‘protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace bill' was passed in 2010, currently there is no law mandating anti-sexual harassment cells at any workplace, not just in the IT sector. But, nearly 80 per cent of the IT companies have taken such initiatives,” said Srinivasa Prasad, Secretary, Cyberabad Security Council.

He also said that even if the GO was passed, there was no clear understanding as to which department would regulate functioning of the women protection committees. The GO is expected to provide stringent laws and regulations that will ensure that an offender does not go scot-free, either by using his influence or position at the workplace.

“The IT industry has taken the protection of women very seriously. All companies are promoting ‘Diversity and Inclusivity' and being provided full security,” claimed Bidhan Kankate, Regional Director, NASSCOM, AP.

Women networks

IT companies like Infosys, Accenture and Google already have provisions such as the Anti Sexual Harassment Initiative (ASHI) and Women's Networks among other committees for protection and development of their female workforce.

Officials of the IT firms informed that there have also been instances of male employees, even at the managerial level, being terminated on charges of harassment filed against being proved.

Women working in night shifts were being accompanied by a security guard when dropped off in a cab.

Few cases

While the National Commission for Women (NCW) registered 110 cases of workplace harassment registered in 2007, and 553 cases in 2008 countrywide, officials here informed there were just a few incidents of sexual harassment in IT companies.
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