Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: Fearing sexual harassment cases, my boss has stopped hiring women

29 Oct,2015

By Jaisurya Das

 

Greetings, Ladies and Gentleman and Welcome back to Dear MxM!

 

Quite recently, I had occasion to meet an interesting man to say the least. A godman who pilots aircrafts, races cars, meditates and gets others to meditate. An amazing animated orator who can keep a large audience spell bound with his deep baritone voice and inimitable sense of humour.

 

Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev is sure interesting and so are his flowing robes.  Tremendous learning, he handles most subjects with academic ease and elan.

 

Responding to Barkha Dutt’s question on a TV talk show on why we need gurus, Sadguru, this man with this flowing beard, said:“When you are in unfamiliar terrain, it is sensible to take directions.  He had the audience in splits.”

 

I laughed as well. Then I sat thinking about what he said. It is important to figure where you are headed irrespective of whetheryou are a brand or a cult. Remember, Alice in Wonderland?? Mentor’s help.

 

Mentors are the lighthouses we all yearn for. Mentors are the lighthouses brands need to power them to navigate their way ahead. Mentors are the lighthouses the youth need to get their bearings in this multi-tasked world. The ecosystem of brands and audiences cannot run independent of help.

 

Invest in those brand wizards. Believe me, you won’t regret. After all, if you are in unfamiliar terrain, it is sensible to take instructions!

 

Ladies and Gentleman; Dear MxM with your Questions and our Answers.

 

Sir, while I am all for stringent laws and rules within organisations on sexual harrasment, how do we ensure that it’s not misused? My boss, for instance, constantly fears that he will get lynched if he doesn’t grant an increment to women employees… consequently he has stopped hiring women!

 

Hi and thanks for writing in to Dear MxM.

 

It would probably be a good idea to present your boss with a copy of the ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’. This will make it abundantly clear as to what constitutes sexual harassment.

 

I do not blame him entirely for his fear since there have been umpteen false cases registered against innocent people at the workplace.  It’s indeed unfortunate that he has stopped hiring women for the company thanks to this unfounded fear. Fear has no boundaries andhence targets the weak to carry along.

 

Having said this, I do not entirely agree with you when you say that the policies are being misused. This isn’t misuse by any flight of imagination. It’s just one man’s whims and fancies. He prefers not giving any room for doubt and interprets the law to suit this.

 

Sexual harassment against women cannot ever take place if the woman itself doesn’t exist in that workplace…! Now this is pro-active thinking of the highest order; Male Order 🙂

 

You don’t have to answer this question, but still I would like to know: Why do news media companies pay people so pathetically vis-a-vis the corporate sector?

On the contrary, I would be happy to answer this and set the records straight.

 

Yes, this was true a couple of years ago, however much progress has been made by the media industry since. Salaries and perquisites are today fairly handsome by any standards. The corporate sector in fact has been slower to react to market dynamics with respect to compensation, with the exception of may be a handful of industries.

 

Today, compensation packages range from Rs 4 lakh/annum to a staggering Rs 200 lakh/annum. This is approximately what content/ editorial professionals can expect. Sales & Marketing is normally higher than this in most organisations.

 

Not many corporates pay this kind of money to their corporate and marketing communications departments.

 

Since the bulk of our content is in Indian languages, don’t you think it’s crazy that our B-schools or even media schools have their medium of instruction in English?

Very interesting question indeed ! Thanks for writing in my friend.  While the bulk of the content is in regional languages, the acceptability isn’t proportional. Employability is also greatly dependant on language skills with the emphasis on English.

 

This is one of the key factors deciding the medium of instruction at B-Schools & Media Schools

 

Organisations across the country make knowledge of English mandatory at the entry point and the loop is thus completed.

 

I am a Malayali but i jolly well know English! Incidentally, it doesn’t matter if i know/ don’t know Malayalam since I can get away with English even in the remotest corner of Kerala.

 

I am a BMM student in Mumbai. I was reading that television companies make content to suit their target audience. Similarly a soap company will make a certain soap as per it’s TG. So is there anything wrong if a news channel also tailors its news as per its target audience. Why is it said that a newspaper/channel has sold out whenever it plays to its market?

Thanks my friend for writing in with a super question !

 

News for some reason is still sacred in our minds. Somewhere we believe that newspapers, News channels etc are the torchbearers of society. Yes, this order is changing what with the advent of portable media that gives you constant updates etc but the though process will take a while.  As they say, human beings criticise what they love the most. In this case news media!

 

Nevertheless, a sharp understanding of one’s audience, beyond what is apparent is called for.  Tweaking and tailoring follows and is generally a continuous process in the  brand’s life cycle.

 

News media isn’t the sanctum sanctorum of news any longer. Sit back, and enjoy it like you would, any reality show. That’s what life is about now, isn’t it ?

 

Sayonara! It’s time to bid adieu to this week, this month and this column.

 

Have a fantastic weekend with much fun and food. Yes, Laughter too. 

 

And we will see you, as always, Thursday next, same space, same columnist with some great Questions & Answers.

 

Of course, we care. It’s Dear MxM!

 

Inbox your questions to editor@mxmindia.com with Dear MxM in the subject line

 

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