Today, Campaign Chronicle is proud to feature an interview with Mr N Shekar, the Vice President of CDG. CDG is a longtime partner of Prajnya and one of the Corporate Campaign Partners for the Prajnya 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence. Mr Shekar joined CDG in July 2009 and serves today as Vice President, Global Strategy and also serves the role of Managing Director for the CDG India subsidiary. Mr Shekar also sent us a video as part of the Men Say No campaign:
As the Vice President of CDG, you have been part of an organisation that's doing a lot to promote safety and equality at the workplace. Can you tell us some of the common myths/misconceptions you've come across regarding workplace sexual harassment? One of the common perception is that with increasing gender equality at workplace and life in general, men start believing that women should be spoken to in the same way they speak with other men. Many do not understand the meaning of harassment – through education we need to make them understand that harassment is what the other person experiences and should be seen from their perspective. This clear understanding is what eludes the beliefs and thus the behaviour.
How important is it for companies to train employees in this regard? Tell us your experience? It is very important to develop a deep understanding of what is sexual harassment and that can come only through education and training. Many employees in the growing industries like IT are entering the workforce for the first time and they come straight from college atmosphere and they come with the belief that the behavior at work will be similar to college. This is not always true and it becomes difficult for them to adapt to the new environment. Also the older generation find it difficult to adapt to the sudden influx of younger workforce and their expectations. Only through training and education we can create an environment of safety, integrity and protective of the rights of women at workplace. And finally, what is your message on Gender Violence? Why, in your view, should people speak up against it? Sensitivity to others feelings and emotions is the key to this and if we exercise the same in every role we play – brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, employee, employer, boss etc – we can make this a better world for all. By reminding ourselves and constantly saying “No to violence against women” either at workplace or at home, we can create that change one step at a time. Speak up when you see an incident, experience the same or see in a public place. Your voice makes a difference to every women out there.