This week brought in shockers in the form of the #MeToo movement bringing to book big names likes Union Minister MJ Akbar, Actor Nana Patakar and Alok Nath , AIB comedians, Queen movie director Vikas Bahl, and writer Chetan Bhagat
What began as a hashtag on Twitter in 2017 amid the Weinstein incident, has now become a global phenomenon.
One of the positive consequences of the movement is that men will be more vigilant in their conduct in the professional world. Women can now heave a sigh of relief
But the intended consequence, at least thats my guess, is that companies will be all the more circumspect about the decision to hire women employees
Today’s ET reported that companies are taking legal opinion and taking resort to forensic audit to check facts – that risk to reputation is so high
Already the decision to hire her came often with conditions
a) She would not stay late in office – will not be open to extensive travelling ( And thus clients, in a hushed tone often tell me , Sonia – we need only male candidates for this finance/internal audit position as the role entails late nights and hectic travelling
b) She would take a 6 month paid maternity leave as per the legislated Act and then ask for leniency in work timings, often ‘work from home’. And if we refused, the employer could be accused of being heartless
c) Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) committees would need to be formed as per the legislated Act and complaints examined – even that of persistent watching
d) And now the #MeToo movement having the power to wreak havoc w.r.t. the company’s reputation and the individual’s as well. It is a very scary time for men, where you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of. Guilty unless proven innocent is the unwritten law .
[ A Rewari court has ordered legal proceedings against a middle-aged woman for allegedly filing false cases against several men, including her ex-husbands and their family members, since 1996 to extort money or for other benefits. https://goo.gl/4aAeJ
The question will be how do you separate the wheat from the chaff
Surely, woman employees bring to the table amazing skill-sets – amazing levels of sincerity, a higher Emotional Quotient (EQ), zero silly mistakes.
But then, compare the incremental benefits with the incremental costs
In my opinion, and I will be happy if proven wrong, every company does not have the infrastructural wherewithal to handle the onerous responsibilities and risks that come with hiring a woman. Every company does not need to showcase to the world that it is making massive efforts in diversity hiring
I am sure you will be shocked at this coming from a woman’s mail box . But let’s be practical as well
What do you think??