TCS faces scrutiny over harassment and pay disparities

TCS faces scrutiny over harassment and pay disparities

TCS faces scrutiny over harassment and pay disparities

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India’s largest IT firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is under scrutiny for rising harassment cases and pay disparities between male and female employees.

Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran addressed these issues during the annual general meeting, emphasizing the company’s zero tolerance towards harassment and attributing the increase in reported cases to a more open culture where employees feel encouraged to express themselves.

The number of complaints under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH) increased from 49 in FY2022-23 to 110 in FY2023-24. This increase includes global reports, unlike the previous year, which only included Indian operations. Chandrasekaran stated that given the company’s size, such numbers are expected, and the focus should be on continuing education and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy to foster a healthy work environment.

A shareholder questioned whether remote working could mitigate harassment issues, but Chandrasekaran dismissed this idea. He stressed the importance of building careers and institutional strength through in-person interactions and collaboration. TCS has also used office attendance as a metric for pay hikes, with those showing higher attendance receiving better performance bonuses.

The issue of pay disparity was also raised, with median salaries for male employees at ₹14.8 lakh compared to ₹10.4 lakh for female employees. Chandrasekaran denied any bias, explaining that differences in salaries within the same band are due to variations in experience and levels. He reiterated TCS’s commitment to gender equality and the aim to increase female representation, especially in senior positions.

The IT sector, known for high female representation, faces challenges with women leaving at middle and senior levels, partly due to increased demands for office attendance. Experts warn that the sector needs to address these issues to retain and support its female workforce, who are actively upskilling to avoid redundancy.