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  • November 1, 2019

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The new buzzwords in the corporate space today are Diversity and Inclusion. There are new policies that are becoming a key trend and organizations which are setting benchmarks each day. This is a good situation to be in. However, in many cases, because Diversity and Inclusion are being viewed as a good-to-do thing and not a business imperative, providing a safe and harassment-free workplace is also being positioned as a special privilege.

Fundamentally there is something wrong with this approach where an employee’s right to expect safety and zero harassment, is being looked at as a perk. But in order to change this mindset, the change starts with the employee himself or herself. Due to years or rather decades of bias and patriarchy, most women particularly internalize the fact that they will be treated differently. Having been subjected to harassment usually on the personal front in many instances, conditions them to view a safe environment as a benefit that the organization is providing rather than their basic right.

How can you take the onus to ensure that this is a right? Here are some ways to do it.


  1. Report harassment, always – Always make the time and effort to report harassment to the right authorities. This could be something that impacts you or you have undergone. Or if you are a witness to harassment. When we complain about it, there is awareness of how it is unacceptable. In addition to that, you demonstrate the message of how you value your personal dignity at the workplace and expect the same from your colleagues, managers and leaders too.


  1. Be aware – Many employees skim over the policies and provisions that are present in their company document unless there is a need for the same. However, awareness is the key to prevention as well. So, to make your environment free of harassment read up and be aware of what your role is.


  1. Sensitize others – You might have colleagues or others who you work with indirectly, who do not know about zero harassment being their right. They might believe that it is an additional perk that the organization provides and remain overly grateful. While it is important to be thankful to your organization for taking steps towards your safety, it is not necessary to view it as an extraordinary thing.


These are some things to bear in mind as you work in various organizations and fit into them.

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