FICCI-EY report highlights importance of women's safety at workplace

New Delhi [India], Mar. 6 (ANI): On the occasion of a workshop conducted on 'Women's Safety at Workplace', a FICCI-EY report 'Reflections on the State of Women Safety at the Workplace in India' was released by Sutapa Sanyal, Director General of Police, U.P. Police Mahila Samman Prakoshth here today.

The report states that for tackling sexual harassment at the workplace, there is a need for invoking a strong commitment to this cause, creating a mechanism to address different perspectives, managing issues effectively and utilising diligent investigative mechanisms.

Addressing the workshop, Sanyal said the need for gender balance was critical in raising a country's GDP. She said that in a full potential scenario roughly USD 28 trillion or 26 per cent could be added to the global GDP. She also urged employers to provide a work environment that help women to realise their full potential and achieve gender balance in the work space.

The report also suggests ways for enhancing the safety of women at the workplace in India such as getting women to speak up, deploying technology, adopting a zero-tolerance policy, dealing with cultural matters, engaging third-party service providers, instituting gender-sensitisation trainings, mandating appropriate work practices and instituting safe working conditions.

"Greater number of women stepping out in the corporate world today has prompted organizations to build safer working establishments for women employees in India. While issues related to cases of sexual harassment at workplace are a major concern for corporates today, there exist many other factors that need to be accounted for to enable safer workplace for employees. The onus is on corporates to set the tone at the top that focuses on gender based challenges and enable sensitising trainings that reinforces the commitment of organizations to safer work environment," said Saguna Sodhi, Executive Director, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services, EY India.

Ambika Sharma, Director General - International, FICCI and Chairperson, Internal Complaints Committee, FICCI, said that safety should not be just confined to the physical environment of the office but should address all interactions that women engage in as part of the work.

"It is necessary to implement robust procedures as often most of the women employees were hesitant to bring this issue of harassment to the notice of the management. Hence a strong commitment from the organisations and sensitive treatment for all complaints with due diligence and speedy response was required and responsibility of an organisation to assure women to bring up issues before the committee," she added.

The session was moderated by Sumeet Gupta, Director, FICCI. (ANI)