By Vishal Kedia, Founder & Director
Complykaro Services Pvt. Ltd.
Today, India is making great strides on the global platform. We have the technology to send up more than a 100 satellites in a single launch. We are implementing the most innovative tax reform; GST, streamlining and bringing our growing economy out of the shadows. But we still haven’t managed to leverage our large workforce optimally. We still have a large proportion of the female workforce that remains untapped. The crisis of the untapped workforce.
One of the reasons why women in India are unable to contribute to our economy is because of fear of letting our daughters, wives and mothers out into an abusive world. Each day, 897 women are harassed, abused or face some form of violence as per NCRB Report 2015. That’s almost one event every 80 seconds! So we keep the female members of our family within the confines of our homes and localities, believing that she is safer and better off this way.
We, at Complykaro, and I personally believe we need to start by developing a more conducive society; where people don’t need to fear sending their families or going out themselves for work or any other reason. The first steps were taken by the government on 9th December 2013 by the promulgation of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The way I see it, it was a major labour reform.
By the said enactment, it is now mandatory to train and sensitize all employees of an organization with regards to Sexual Harassment. Training and sensitization is needed to be done regularly (at least once a year) and a report is to be filed with the District Officer stating, but not limited to, the number of trainings and awareness programmes against sexual harassment conducted in that reporting year. The organization also has to form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each location to redress any complaint of sexual harassment in a timely manner. Apart from the fact that employee sensitisation and ICC skill building is mandatory under section 19(c) of the Act, it is also important to understand that the entire emphasis of the law is towards prevention rather than redressal.
Developing a mindfulness of what is acceptable at a workplace and what is not, is also an essential skill set to possess for any worker. By developing a more conducive environment, we are helping co-workers to be uplifted; removing misunderstandings and helping to make a more efficient organization. I have conducted training sessions for ICC of innumerable corporates as well as trained more than 20,000 ICC Members of Colleges, Universities and Govt. Departments under the aegis of Maharashtra State Commission for Women, so they may go ahead and further sensitize students & employees. This initiative has helped ensure that the students, who come out of universities and colleges, come out sensitised to this matter to create a grass root labour reform and future ready skills in tomorrow’s employees.
By taking initiatives, such as training College ICC’s and government employees, we are creating an immediate revolution at the workplace and in society. Industry can greatly benefit from an instant productivity boost that comes through the form of a more conducive industry and work environment.
As per studies conducted by us, in association with Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) last year, 98.38% of companies did not comply in totality with the Act.
It’s not only Sexual Harassment that is in the way of superior productivity. Greater awareness of ethical behaviour is required to enable our workforce to be conscientious positively contributing members to society as a whole; may it be work or social. We need our workforce to be able to distinguish between right and wrong. Keeping this simple truth in mind, we are pioneering training products covering a variety of ethical practices, including but not limited to Code of Conduct, Information Security and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
To help create this kind of grass root effect, it is vital to invest in the training and development of employees. It is important to reach out to each and every employee surely and regularly; keep them in a state of awareness. But the biggest issue in India is the minimalistic budget allocations received by the Human Resources Department in our experience. Most corporates in India are unable to grasp the potential benefits of cultivating their workforce and creating a progressive atmosphere.
The acknowledgement and awareness levels for the need for such activities is now on the rise, but Corporate India still has a certain way to go. Organizations are reluctant on training workforce on topics that are considered inconsequential; that does not directly enhance the value of employee to the organization, such as advanced spread-sheet program for employees. We believe the only way to fulfil this need in a cost-effective and grass root manner is by leveraging the use of technology.
Technology allows us to deliver a solution that is precise and high quality content at costs that are so ridiculously low, that we believe only organizations that do not have the intent to comply will not enrol in such programs. Only when we together, create a beneficial work environment and upgrade our standards of living will we be able to progress. Creating superior productivity is enabled, in part, by these measures. And we believe, to be mindful for superior productivity is to enable India to achieve a trajectory that is not only favourable today, but sustainable in the long term as well.
About the Author:
Vishal Kedia is the visionary and moving force behind envisaging a movement which revolutionizes how companies view and implement legal compliance.
Through Complykaro, Vishal seeks to unify 3 main verticals namely consultancy, training and technology; to work unitedly towards empowering corporates with the means conducive for higher levels of productivity, namely secure environs. Recently, Vishal conferred about “Discrimination in a Diverse Nation” as one among the panel, at Harvard US-India Initiative’s Conference.