ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Workplace Harassment


Workplaces are a microcosm of our larger social structure. In India, women—and men—are taught to respect authority and not question it. The largest Indian businesses are visibly family-owned. Here, the organisation is often viewed as a benign tree that bestows largesse on employees, in return for their loyalty. Given that the same coterie of managers circulates between organisations, this culture of patronage travels even to the apparently professionally managed multinational corporations.

Harassment in these organisations is not reported for the same reasons for which assault by a family member is not brought to the police. The stakes are heavily in favour of maintaining reputation rather than washing one’s dirty linen in public. Colleagues and seniors would advise the woman to “put your head down and work” and “internalise the blame” (both statements have been personally experienced). In a structure where support is not forthcoming, this can sound like very wise counsel.

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Updated On : 12th Oct, 2018
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