Posts Tagged ‘Phaneesh Murthy’

What do Reka Maximovitch, Araceli Roiz and Lisa Rundle have in common? Well, their hormones broke through the glass ceilings of the rigid hierarchies of their respective employers. All of them had affairs with their high and mighty bosses and ended up filing sexual harassment cases against them. I am convinced that besides harassment, they also underwent the trauma of lewd comments and ridicule at the hands of their peers and subordinates. One can readily imagine the mental anguish suffered by them in the process.

Sexual harassment cases in companies are notorious for being immoral as well as immortal. Penguin Canada ex-CEO David Dravidar eventually went in for an out-of-court settlement. So did Phaneesh Murthy a decade back when he quit Infosys. The fact that he was recently back in the news for the wrong reasons, with i-GATE handing him a pink slip so as to minimize damages, goes on to show that old habits die hard.

Sexual-predator seniors and victim-subordinates often live off each other. As long as managements have a tolerant attitude on issues of sexual harassment at work place, skirt-groping CEOs and seniors with irrepressible libidos would conveniently continue to forget keeping their trousers zipped.

CEOs who are power drunk could indulge in this. So could those who are over-stressed and find such affairs an easy way to relax and unwind. Then there are the incorrigible ones who could not stay out of trouble. Whatever the justification, affairs of such nature lower the self-esteem of employees as well as the employers. These also corrupt the working eco-system, thereby impacting business results in the long run.

Some career-wise ambitious PYTs who do not mind petty flirtation in return for rapid advances in career could reach a tipping point after which it becomes difficult for them to apply brakes on the relationship. They then end up keeping the boss’ amorous treadmills running.

Managements which keep their eye only on the performance of their CEOs and tend to look the other way when it comes to issues of moral turpitude also create an enabling environment for immoral activities to flourish. They could also use a sexual harassment case to ease out a senior who has become too big for his boots.

What is it that managements can do without appearing to be intruding into the privacy of an individual? Having women in senior positions in the organization surely helps. Creating an atmosphere where developments of an amorous nature get reported and promptly acted upon is another anti-dote. The best deterrent is a clear and unambiguous message that sexcapades of any kinds are just not acceptable, irrespective of the level or importance of the persons involved.

Physical attraction and lust easily pass for love in the confined office space. And an affair of such nature easily turns into litigation. Once the mutual needs are no longer congruent, hot babes in offices, whether blonde or otherwise, could easily file lawsuits in countries where laws take a dim view of such conduct and courts award millions of greenbacks as compensation.

To save unnecessary costs as also to avoid a severe dent in their market image, managements need to understand that if they lock up a bunch of smart people in a room and not expect them to react to each other, they live in a fools’ paradise. After all, if left unchecked, human hormones are powerful enough to demolish a hierarchy!

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