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#MeToo movement has caught most of the attention because of Bollywood celebrities who have spoken about the sexual harassment they have faced in the past. However, the #MeToo movement has made a big impact on corporate culture as well. People are coming out and sharing stories about how they have faced or witnessed sexual harassment at the workplace, mostly at the hands of their bosses.
Most of them chose to keep quiet at that time, due to the usual fear of society and the risk of losing their job. But this movement has given courage to them, and now more and more people are coming out and sharing their own #MeToo stories.
Impact of #MeToo on Corporate
As a result, corporates are rushing to rein in the situation. They are working on first of all sensitizing the employees about what Sexual Harassment is, and what it isn’t. Also, they are trying to set up proper mechanisms in their organizations to deal with this. Even though there is a law around it, Prevention of Sexual Harassment in workplaces (POSH); most of the times it is poorly implemented. Anticipating more scrutiny from authorities around this, and also to boost employees' confidence, finally, companies are working overtime to address this issue.
Impact of #MeToo on Mental Health of Employees
A dark side of #MeToo is the impact that it has on the mental health of employees who have to face this. If they choose to stay quiet and don’t report it to anyone, then this leaves a permanent fear in their mind. Instead of reporting, they try to avoid the perpetrator of sexual assault. Sometimes it also leads to low self-confidence, as the victim might tend to think that they are responsible for what is happening to them. In some severe cases, sexual harassment at the workplace has led to employees suffering from mental disorders like depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, etc. Some of them have even gone to the extent of harming themselves or even committing suicide.
So, corporates are working overtime to specifically address the following:
Educating employees that what constitutes workplace harassment. For example, a boss might make a lewd comment on the dress of an employee, without realizing if it is right or wrong. So, training employees are the first step towards it.
Secondly, they are trying to set up cells within the organization, which are sufficiently empowered to deal with these issues. Such cells also give confidence to employees to open up if they face sexual assault.
Finally, instead of trying to hide such incidents, corporates are now proactively taking action against the perpetrators. In some cases, this has even led to the firing of CEOs.
#MeToo has spread a lot of sad stories around. However, there is a positive side to it, at least in workplaces. Corporates are now becoming more vigilant about workplace sexual harassment, and this should hopefully lead to much lesser such incidents in the future.