Combining the PoSH Act with a company’s framework and rules for abidance is only half of the work done to produce a more protected workplace for females. Taking actions to ensure and implement women’s safety in the workplace is the real and constructive solution. Furnishing infrastructural amenities such as upgraded surveillance for security, female cab drivers, late-night shuttle service, are some developments coming up in the work culture.
Yet, changing mindsets is the fundamental solution. Few concrete steps for creating a more protected environment are as follows:
1. Generate and Spread Awareness
Employees, both female and male, must be instructed about behavioral constructs and generating the right culture which supports female safety. Female employees have to be continually instructed on the PoSH Act and have to be made aware of its jurisdictions, power, and constituents. This will help them understand if they are at the receiving end of improper behavior and make them raise a complaint to the relevant authority. Constant surveys must be conducted in the firms for women employees to receive their feedback on working conditions. Training female employees on how to protect themselves when external help is absent is important. Female employees must know the way to escalate any uncomfortable circumstance they unexpectedly find themselves in.
2. Implement a Zero-tolerance Rule
A firm’s reputation improves worldwide when it enforces and implements stern policies for the employees. HR professionals, employers, and others in leadership duties in a firm should make attempts to implement and institute a zero-tolerance policy to stop sexual harassment. Such a rule must be circulated among all employees in writing. Yearly training programs for the employees must also be conducted to generate awareness on this subject. A precise policy that indicates strong corrective action for anyone found at fault must be circulated firm-wide.
3. Encourage Openness among Women and an attitude of Entrepreneurship
Imposing policies and educational conferences are useful, but, a system or a process promoting power equality in the firm needs to be introduced owing to which the negative incidents’ occurrence will be reduced. Offering dynamic projects and roles to females where they get more power, recognition, and responsibility can help boost their status and confidence within the firm. Global female leaders across the world can be requested to speak at seminars (webinars) to encourage women and make them realize their potential and about how much they can accomplish professionally and personally.
4. Establish a Powerful Internal Committee
Employers must set up a strong Internal Complaints Committee comprising of senior managers, board members, etc. that carefully investigates and suggests conclusive action in all affairs concerning the safety of female workers on the job. The IC needs to be regarded as fair by both female and male employees and it must also be free of any partiality towards gender, the rank of the employee and so. This official mechanism can at times seem like an intimidating institution for certain victims. Thus, some organizations might think beyond ICCs.
5. Integrate Educational programs for the Male Employees
Committees and policies to increase the safety of women are helpful, but complete safety can be instituted in a firm only when the main cause of the issue is fixed. This can be accomplished by continuous training and sensitization for male employees on the way they must conduct themselves while working with the female employees.
An illustration program will help them realize to what forms of harassment with the aim that there should not be any vagueness as to what proper workplace etiquette is. Listing of Dos and Don’ts must be created, program tests and guides must also be made accessible to all male employees. Often, they indulge in gender-based harassment or discrimination because of unconscious biases. Such training programs will help them flee from gender biases and stereotypes which mostly lead.
Considering the above-listed ways, you can create an unbiased work environment for female workers and encourage a better world. Implement these rules of thump to offer your female employees a better and relaxed work environment.
– Mamta Sharma