The latest controversy involving TVF’s founder Arunabh Kumar has stirred some important discussions about the extent of sexual harassment taking place in startups. An ex-TVF employee, narrated her ordeal in a post on Medium, which went viral. This was followed by more female employees sharing similar incidents of harassment on other social media sites.
Start-ups are seen as an alternative to the monotonous grind of 9-5. More and more millennials are looking forward to work in such exciting startups that give them the liberty of using their creativity and skills to make meaningful careers. Such incidents, however, seem to dampen their spirits.
“Growing up in an environment where everyone propagates gender equality and then witnessing something of this kind is not done. I remember discussing with my college friends how interesting it would be for all of us to work in a startup. The startup word that used to grab my attention has become a nightmare now. And all this coming from one of the best online digital entertainment platforms is so scary!” shares Twinkle Sahni, a Political Science student of Delhi University.
A potential obstacle in the way of gender equality
On one side, the world is heading towards a woman-inclusive society. On the other hand, such incidents prove that it will still take long for women to expect a safe environment at workplaces. The whole purpose of bringing more and more women to work in startups seems to be defeated. Lack of awareness about harassment laws and their weak enforcement are some deterrents to women’s safety.
“Making satirical videos and circulating them is easy but practising what you preach requires guts”
“I shudder at the thought of working at a startup. God knows what kind of people I might encounter! I was a firm believer of the fact that the booming digital space can give way to a more egalitarian society. But no! Women will never get what they deserve. Objectifying them is still the prevalent norm,” says Bhamini Goel, an English student from Delhi University.
She added, “Making satirical videos and circulating them is easy but practising what you preach requires guts.”
Anurudh’s statement about him being a single man who compliments women if he finds them sexy hasn’t gone down well with Tanisha Chaudhary, BJMC student from IP University.
“I am quite shocked at how he chose to justify himself. He must remember that women come to workplaces to work and not to be hit on by other men.”
Why women should speak out
Women, fearing society’s derogatory remarks, choose to keep mum. But it is high time for them to claim their rights so that justice can be served. We hail women who show courage to speak up. And then encourage others too. Social media serves as the best platform for women to expose the accused and let the world know about the culprits.
“Unless you want it to become a norm, you need to speak up and take action. If you won’t who else will.”- Juhi Garg, Co-Founder, ED Times
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV