Many Indian software companies face sex scandals.

Rising number of sexual harassment cases in Indias IT industry many stories go untold Image for representation/ Pixabay
news Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 15:37

So what if software giants claim that they have a Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) committee? It does not mean they are free from sexual harassment cases. 

Many Indian software companies face sex scandals, however, only a few have come to public notice.

A former Wipro employee in the UK, Shreya Ukil, 39, recently accused the Indian information technology (IT) firm of sex discrimination. She was manipulated into an affair with married senior vice-president Manoj Punja, the former head of Wipro BPO, who resigned last year. Read story here.

According to a study of annual reports of 46 Nifty companies by the Economic Times in September 2015, almost 38 out of 50 Nifty companies have 415 sexual harassment cases against them. 

IT companies listed in Nifty are Infosys Technologies Ltd., Tech Mahindra Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., HCL technologies Ltd. and Wipro Ltd. The companies which did not have harassment cases against them according to ET were Reliance Industries, HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, Lupin, Bajaj Auto, ACC, ONGC and Coal India.

With 100 cases, Wipro was on top of the list followed by ICICI Bank with 94. Wipro had then responded by saying “An increasing trend of complaints shows the increasing awareness and the conviction in the organisation's process to be able to address the concerns.” 

In 2002, Phaneesh Murthy, then a Global Sales Head with Infosys, India's second-biggest software services exporter, had to quit the company after an employee Reka Maximovitch, executive secretary to Murthy, complained of sexual harassment and wrongful termination of employment. Infosys paid $3 million to Maximovitch as legal settlement.

Thirteen years later, in February 2015, Murthy had been fired from iGate in May 2013 again for allegedly not disclosing his relationship with the company's investor relations head Araceli Roiz.  Ashok Vemury, then CEO of iGate, disclosed that the company had incurred a one-time charge of $4.6 million for legal settlement.

In June 2013, Times of India reported that Bengaluru had thrown up startling statistics on sexual harassment at the workplace. Over 700 complaints were "unofficially" registered with Karnataka labour department in 2012 from just the IT/ITeS and biotech sectors.

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