As part of IIM Indore’s endeavor of ensuring a safe, secure and gender neutral campus, the Institute organized a training workshop on ‘Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace’ on December 07, 2017. The session was conducted by Ms. Samriti Makkar Midha, Psychologist and Ms. Sana Hakim, Advocate. Both of the experts also work with POSH at Work—an organization that believes that sexual harassment at workplace does not only cause mental and/or physical damage to the person harassed; but also seriously curtails opportunities at work by creating a discriminatory work environment. The session covered aspects related to hearing and addressing complaints regarding sexual harassment and spreading awareness about gender-related issues and functioning of the Internal Complaints Committee.
The session began with welcome address by Col. Gururaj Gopinath Pamidi (Retd.), Chief Administrative Officer, IIM Indore. Ms. Midha started her talk by an activity which explained the difference between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ and explained how a person’s body language plays an important role in understanding what he or she feels. Discussing about various forms of sexual harassment (verbal, physical, visual), Ms. Midha said that silence doesn’t always mean that any act is welcome; and encouraging some behaviour doesn’t mean that any kind of behaviour is welcome. She also discussed how many women do not complain or report due to fear of retaliation, social stigma, lack of evidence, fear of loss of reputation, low self-confidence, fear of job loss or lack of awareness. Explaining the importance of Internal Committee in every organization, Ms. Midha talked about Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 and discussed the timelines and Pit Stops for Internal Committee and how the Internal Committee works.
Ms. Hakim then discussed about the three major laws in context to sexual harassment namely, Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedures Code and Information Technology Act. She also gave suitable examples and explained the difference between workplace harassment and sexual harassment and the process of filing complaints at Police Stations. The session concluded with details of how any organization can take preventive measures against sexual harassment.
The workshop was held in two sessions for the entire administrative staff, security and housekeeping staff of the Institute.