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Have we outsourced sexual harassment?

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RELATED: Why Indian IT companies are outsourcing – to US

Nokia Siemens, a European firm, was her employer.

Nokia Siemens’ communication head in India, Poonam Kaul, was quoted by Daily News Analysis as saying “It was not a sexual harassment case. Nokia have an operational grievances committee and a Site Development Council at Chennai and Bangalore centres.”

Hard to complain about your boss

As told by Kaul, Nokia made the assumption that because it established the structure for reporting, MJ Sonia would have reported the problem. What Nokia Siemens failed to say, which is well known in India, is that it is socially unacceptable to complain about your superior. According to statistics compiled by the Centre, more than 91 percent of women who experience sexual harassment do not report because they fear victimization. When they contemplate reporting the boss, who is the perpetuator of sexual harassment 72 percent of the time, women again and again choose not to.

Nokia Siemens did what most firms do when entering India; they brought their homegrown human resource practices with them, setting up a structure that failed because of cultural inhibitors. These structures are modeled around the principal that women will report. Women fear reporting the problem and organizations, however accidentally, continue to make it hard to overcome this obstacle.

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