4 Ways to Make Your Workplace Safe for Women
Women safety has been a concern for a long time now. If reports are to be stated, every minute a girl or a women gets abused in India – be it physical, sexual, or mental. That being said, even workplaces sometimes turn out to be unsafe for women. Asking for favours to get some work done, for promotions, and so on is becoming a part of some workplace culture. And with the rise in crime nearly every month, the Government is doing their best to introduce policies that would curb such heinous activities. However, as an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that the women staffs in your office feel safe. Having said this, even the male employees and colleagues should contribute to making female employees feel comfortable and secured. Here are a few tips that you must and should follow, which will make your workplace safe for women.
- Introduction of POSH
The Government of India, in the light of ensuring women safety at workplaces, has introduced the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act (POSH). Induction of POSH into your organization’s corporate policy is a must. The Government of India has made it mandatory for organizations to train both their female and male employees regarding the POSH Act. Adding to this, it is also necessary for organizations to form a POSH committee to handle issues related to women safety, which must be formed following the guidelines that have been levied by the GOI.
- Forming an ICC
No, this ICC is not the International Cricket Board Council but the Internal Complaints Committee of an organization. Though many organizations have still not formed the ICC, having this team is another mandate that contributes to making the workplace safe for women. Thinking why this is necessary? Well, many a time women who go through harassment at workplace don’t come out and complain about it to their superiors fearing embarrassment, loss of job, demotion, and so on. To counter this, the ICC needs to be formed. The members of the ICC will ensure that the name of the complainant is kept anonymous and that necessary action is taken against whom the complaint has been raised. Also, at times, depending upon the severity of the complaint, the ICC decides whether or not the issue should be taken to POSH.
- Create Awareness
Apart from forming the POSH team and the ICC, it is the responsibility of the HR department of your organization to create awareness amongst the employees. There is no point of forming a committee and not educating people about it, right? The HR department must conduct various activities and training sessions for both male and female employees that should aim at increasing awareness of the types of harassment that one can go through. These sessions can be in the form of PPT, plays, or videos, case studies, and so on.
- Do a Little More
In addition to the above three points, another thing that you can do is provide cabs for the women employees. Since many of them might have to travel for long distances; it is always a good option to provide cabs for them. That being said, you can go an extra mile by providing pink taxis, which are specially for women to make them feel more secure. Apart from this, you can distribute pepper spray in the office, conduct self-defence classes, and develop an app with SOS features, and so on.
Ensuring the safety of female employees is something that every employer must take care of. And to ensure that, apart from the above points, you have to also ensure that a cordial and motivating ambience is created within the office space, which will help everyone feel comfortable and safe.