Compliance is Important – One on One with Ms. Vrishali Pispati
Ms. Vrishali Pispati is the Chief Executive Officer of Mumbai Mobile Creches (MMC). MMC is a non-profit organization working with the children of migrant construction workers in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane for the last 45 years. MMC offers comprehensive day care facilities for the children of the migrants at the construction sites and empowers mothers to enter and/or stay in the workforce while their children are in our care. MMC also trains women from underprivileged backgrounds, including construction sites, to become teachers and childcare givers.
“Employers need to be more sensitized about the breadth and scope of the role the POSH policy can play at workplaces.”
Do you think people are aware about the Law on Sexual Harassment at Workplace?
People are aware of the Law against Sexual Harassment at Workplace but may not be fully aware of what constitutes sexual harassment, their constitutional right to a safe working space and the mechanisms for their protection. Also, mere awareness about the Law may not result in the implementation of the POSH policy at most of the corporates and social sector organizations. Thus, employers need to be more sensitized about the breadth and scope of the role the POSH policy can play at workplaces.
What is the ratio of men to women in your organization?
Over 90 percent of the employees are women.
“Notices conveying the existence of a POSH policy in the organization and declaring names of the Internal Committee members are displayed at each of our centers and administrative offices.”
Do you think sexual harassment is gender specific?
Sexual harassment is akin to power play, and though both the genders are vulnerable, in the patriarchal social setup women can be at a greater disadvantage in this respect. MMC’s POSH policy is gender neutral.
When did you start complying with this Law? What makes you want to comply with the Law better each time, even when 90% of your employees are women?
MMC is committed to creating a safe working environment, free from all forms of discrimination and misconduct, including sexual harassment which can be considered coercive or disruptive. We have made efforts to continually update our POSH policy in accordance with changing circumstances and laws. Notices conveying the existence of a POSH policy in the organization and declaring names of the Internal Committee members are displayed at each of our centres and administrative offices. All the employees joining the organization have to read and signify their acceptance of it by offering their signatures. Each employee receives a personal copy of the policy. All employees and Internal Committee members as well as the Board of Directors undergo POSH training through external experts every year. Training is also conducted to sensitize employees towards gender issues.
“Compliance with this law is an important measure towards encouraging the creation and maintenance of a working environment where women are protected…”
Would you want to give any message to organizations on the importance of complying with this Law?
Compliance with this law is an important measure towards encouraging the creation and maintenance of a working environment where women are protected from sexual harassment and the belief that the law provides safeguards to women who may face instances of sexual harassment.