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Is your workplace women friendly ?

Is your workplace women friendly ?

India ranks second lowest among the G20 countries when it comes to the number of women at the workplace. It is only above Saudi Arabia, a country that doesn’t even allow women to drive. 

It could be a regular day when you have to stay late at work and everyone has left . The lobby is dark and dangerous . You are alone in your soundproof cabin. In the back of your mind, you know this is unsafe and if something happens to you, no one can even hear your scream. Your willingness to put in your best cannot be compromised on the basis of a low level of safety quotient at your workplace.

Safety of women at the workplace is one of the most common topics of debate, but rather than just talking about it, some actual measures need to be taken which will make your workplace a safe-working haven.

Here are some measures which every company should take to protect their female staff from any unwanted scenarios :

Safe transportation

Safe transportation should be provided by the company for safe commuting to the workplace and home. The IDs and  background of all the drivers should be registered and verified. It should be ensured by the organisation that women employees are not the first ones to being picked and not the last ones to be dropped. Drivers should be appointed only from reputed and verified  agencies after their verification by the police department.

Installation of CCTV’S 

24×7 CCTV cameras should be installed in all corners, including the lobby and other locations of the office. This will definitely pinch the attackers before they even think of committing any ungraceful act. However, while installation, the cameras should not interfere with the privacy element of the employees. They should not feel that they are being eyed constantly. Also, the parking area should be under strict surveillance and well lit at all hours.

Organising self-defense classes

The organisation should contact professionals who can teach the female workforce some practical self defense tactics. This should be done on a regular basis. It will teach women the art of tackling unwanted situations with utmost courage. At the time of orientation, the company should give a detailed description of any legal action which the woman employee can initiate in case of sexual harassment.

No tolerance policy

All the companies must adopt a ‘NO TOLERANCE POLICY’ at work. It should be followed without any discrimination or personal biases. The accused should be suspended or terminated from the workplace immediately after appropriate investigation has taken place.

In the wake of sexual harassment cases in India, Indian government has finally enacted on the prevention of sexual harassment of women at workplace by adopting ‘THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE ACT’, 2013. This act was enforced as a result of  the judgements passed by the Supreme Court on the basis of the case, ‘Vishaka and others vs. State of Rajasthan’

No matter how many precautions the company takes, it is you who is solely responsible for your own safety.  Don’t underestimate the usage of a pepper spray. Never walk alone on a random street at night. Be cautious. In case of an attack, never panic; stay alert and don’t try to use your strength against the attacker, rather think smart to get out of the situation.

“Women know what safety means, it means – You behave yourself” – Kavita Krishnan.

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