Rasila Raju, Infosys employee was found dead in the conference room on the ninth floor of Infosys premises in Pune. The Infosys Pune techie had injury marks on her face and primary examination revealed that she was strangled to death.
Police zeroed on an Infosys security guard based on CCTV footage and nabbed him from Mumbai while he was trying to flee.
Commissioner of Police had said that she would seek explanation from Infosys on the sequence of events that led to murder of the young software engineer at its Pune campus. Infosys issued a statement, which mentioned that the firm had a common safety helpline for all their campuses in the country which was manned around the clock. In addition, the statement said, the company has an Infosys Emergency App and follows a policy of strict monitoring by security personnel.
Questions on security measures that are in place:
The incident has brought into focus the issue of workplace security arrangements in general and for women in particular. Questions raised over the issue include,
- Why was a woman employee working alone on a floor that too on Sunday?
- The slow emergency response system?
- Background check of security personnel?
- Installation of electronic doors allowing only authorized access to employees
- Security guard or a colleague to accompany the driver if a woman staff working in a night shift is picked or dropped last
- GPS based monitoring of cabs with panic buttons installed on them
- SMS Alerts / Information Systems to be designed/installed
- A thorough risk assessment of the neighboring area to ensure stringent measures are in place
- Install mobile applications on employee phones for increased tracking and safety measures
Impediments to women taking up formal employment:
- Women in India are mostly involved not in paid employment but work mostly in their homes. Such work is socially necessary but unrecognised.
- Gender gap in education and wages
- Patriarchal attitude and social restrictions on mobility
- Concerns on commuting time and security at workplace
- Sexual division of labour, which essentially means women are expected to manage domestic responsibilities along with their jobs.
The Way Forward:
Companies seriously need to conduct awareness programmes about the safety measures that are in place and women preferably should be asked to work in pairs. Adequate arrangements for security should be in place and existing measures should be reviewed periodically. This is essential to arrest decline in female work participation due to concerns about security at workplace.
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