Why surge in sexual harassment cases in India’s top companies?

Rise in sexual harassment cases in India's top companies  (1)
Moreover, HDFC Bank with 51 cases received the maximum complaints in FY22 followed by ICICI Bank (46), Axis Bank (45) and Tech Mahindra (45).

According to Complykaro and ET report, there was 31% increase in sexual harassment complaints at the workplace in FY23 versus FY22, showing data from 370 of the BSE500 companies.

The increase in complaints was across sectors: IT (84%), financial services (27%), telecom (58%), manufacturing (50%) and metals (65%).

The complaints recorded a spike in the last financial year, according to Mint report, the following companies have reported sexual harassment cases in the financial year 2023

  • Wipro -141
  • Infosys -78
  • Tech Mahindra -74
  • HDFC Bank Ltd – 68
  • HCL Technologies – 55
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank – 55
  • Tata Consultancy Services – 49
  • State Bank of India- 46
  • Tata Steel Ltd- 38
  • Axis Bank Ltd- 34 

Look at last year’s Data, which showed that these companies registered 759 cases in FY22 compared to 595 reported in FY21.

Data Collected by Forbes India for FY22, finds that banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), Information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITeS) had 69.5 percent of all sexual harassment complaints in FY22.

Moreover, the further bifurcation indicated that IT/ITES accounted for 25.43 percent (193) of the total cases in FY22.  HDFC Bank with 51 cases received the maximum complaints in FY22, but those are just 8 percent higher than last year. Next are ICICI Bank (46), Axis Bank (45), and Tech Mahindra (45).

Among PSUs, the State Bank of India with 43 reported complaints in FY22 but there has been a decline from 45 in the previous year.

Bank of Baroda which reported 25 cases in FY22. However, previous year 16 cases were reported. Indian Oil Corporation reported nine in FY22 higher than four in FY21.

The total number of sexual harassment complaints at workplaces climbed by 27 percent in the financial year ending March 2022 compared to the previous year.

However, the good part is that the number of sexual harassment complaints pending resolution at the end of FY22 decreased by 2 percent compared to the previous year.

Complaints are increasing because of awareness, but most women who face sexual harassment don’t even file the case to the Internal Committee.

What is the Posh Act?

The Act provides a comprehensive definition of sexual harassment, which includes any unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act was enacted in 2013 to address the issue of sexual harassment of women in the workplace. 

The Act applies to all workplaces in India, including public and private organizations, government offices, non-governmental organizations, and any place where women work. 

Employer Obligation

Employers are required to take preventive measures to ensure a safe working environment. They must establish an Internal Committee (IC) in organizations employing ten or more employees. In the case of smaller organizations, a Local Committee (LC) is to be set up at the district level.


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