Tuesday November 13, 2018

Actress Radhika Apte Speaks Upon Sexual Harassment at Workplaces

Enthusiastic about the association with Daniel Wellington, Radhika said: "Yes, I adore their watches and their new bracelet cuffs. The pieces are easy to wear and very versatile with timeless designs. They can be worn throughout the years on for any occasion."

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Radhika Apte
Radhika Apte. (IANS)
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With #MeToo movement, many women are coming out in the open to talk about the sexual harassment they have faced by people in power across different fields, including Bollywood. Actress Radhika Apte is “loving” it and she feels everyone should come together to create safe workplaces where any kind of abuse is neither exercised nor tolerated.

“There are a lot of people in the industry who are trying to come together and find a way of forming a system which is going to be more apt to deal with the abuse or misuse of power within the industry,” Radhika told IANS in an e-mail from Mumbai when asked about her take on #MeToo.

“I think it is very good that people are coming out and speaking about such things. It is extremely essential and I completely support the movement. I hope that we can all constructively come together and formulate a structure where everyone can feel safe sooner rather than later.

“I genuinely love that this movement is coming here,” added the actress, who is the face of new campaign of Daniel Wellington watches in India.

Radhika-Apte
Any kind of abuse must not be exercised or tolerated: Radhika Apte. (IANS)

The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unpleasant episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of “Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss” in 2008.

After that, a slew of controversies surrounding Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, Anu Malik, Anirban Blah, Alok Nath, Chetan Bhagat, Gursimran Khamba and Kailash Kher have emerged.

Radhika, who not only broke the stereotypical image of the Bollywood heroine with her roles in films like “”Phobia”, “Badlapur” and “Manjhi – The Mountain Man”, but is also vocal about her strong opinions on social issues. She says Bollywood should stand up and raise voice on such issues.

Radhika said: “I think it’s high time, not only in Bollywood, but in all industries that we stand up and raise awareness and speak about these issues.

“I personally feel that any kind of abuse should not be exercised or tolerated and there should be systems in place that will allow people to speak about it fearlessly. There is nothing worse than having that lack of a safe foundation that results in a person being fearful to speak up and living life suppressing what happened because they fear some consequence to talking about it. Nothing can be worse than that.”

Daniel Wellington, the Swedish watch brand, celebrated the onset of the festive season in Mumbai with an exclusive Diwali celebration. Radhika, along with Sander Van Der Stroom, General Manager, Daniel Wellington India, graced the occasion.

Enthusiastic about the association with Daniel Wellington, Radhika said: “Yes, I adore their watches and their new bracelet cuffs. The pieces are easy to wear and very versatile with timeless designs. They can be worn throughout the years on for any occasion.”

Radhika Apte
Radhika Apte.

When one talks about time, how important is punctuality for her?

She said: “Professionalism and punctuality are extremely important, especially in the career path I’ve chosen. Being on sets, film schedules can be very stringent and tight. They are sometimes at odd hours in various locations. Being there when you’re called, just ensures that the day starts smoothly.”

Has her time in Bollywood, especially the starting years, been easy?

“I had to struggle a lot to get to where I am today and it is appreciated more because people are aware of my work much more so there’s more talk about it. But at the same time I don’t think the struggle has ended because in any freelance industry there is a constant struggle with constant rejections, constantly trying to maintain a level of work as well as challenge yourself and bring something different to every project you do,” she said.

Also Read- Nawazuddin Siddiqui Considers His Next Movie ‘Special Gift’ For Children

With the success of “Andhadhun”, would she says she has arrived now?

“I honestly never think that I have ever ‘arrived’. It’s all a process to me. Today I am lucky enough to be getting a lot of work that I’m passionate about, but one can never know what the future has in store,” she said. (Bollywood Country)

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Do More to Create Equality: Women Leaders In Tech During Web Summit

Google's head of philanthropy, Jacquelline Fuller, said she joined the walkout last week, admitting more needs to be done.

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Google, Web summit
The center stage at Web Summit, Europe's biggest tech conference, in Lisbon, Portugal. VOA

Women leaders in technology called at one of the sector’s largest global conferences, Web Summit for more to be done to drive equality in the male-dominated industry now hit by the #MeToo debate.

The ninth Web Summit comes amid growing concerns about sexism in the tech world, with thousands of Google employees walking out last week to protest the company’s response to sexual misconduct and workplace inequality.

In a poll of 1,000 women leaders in tech by the Web Summit, given exclusively to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, 47 percent said the gender ratio in leadership had not improved in the past year. Only 17 percent said it was better.

Stephen Hawking, web summit
FILE- Cosmologist Stephen Hawking delivers a video message during the inauguration of Web Summit, Europe’s biggest tech conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 6, 2017. (VOA)

 

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives, said it was crucial to have more women in the sector.

“We can’t accomplish what we need if women [aren’t involved] in tech,” Jackson, who was part of President Barack Obama’s administration, told the Web Summit in Lisbon.

About 70,000 people from 170 nations were at the conference, where the number of women attendees has risen to about 45 percent from 25 percent in 2013, helped by discounting tickets, according to organizers. They did not have earlier figures.

Talking about expertise

“This year a lot of the talks on our stages are touching on the [number of women in the sector],” Anna O’Hare, head of content at Web Summit, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “But rather than women just talking about this, they are talking about the areas in which they are experts in tech.”

The tech sector has long come under scrutiny for inequality and its “bro-gamer” type of culture, referring to men who play video games.

Global organizations, including the United Nations and the European Commission, have spoken out about under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Facebook, Web Summit
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

A 2016 report by the global consultancy McKinsey found women made up 37 percent of entry-level roles in technology but only 25 percent reached senior management roles and 15 percent made executive level.

The poll of women at the Web Summit found eight of every 10 women felt confident and respected in their roles, but they were divided when asked if they were treated the same as men, with 60 percent saying they were under more pressure to prove themselves.

Thirty-seven percent worried that women were offered leadership roles only to fill quotas.

While half of the women polled said their companies were doing enough to ensure equality, nearly 60 percent said governments were not active enough to address the imbalance.

Several tech company representatives have told the Web Summit of attempts to boost equality, with moves such as training staff in unconscious bias, deleting gender from CVs, ensuring that all short lists have women and improving maternity rights.

Google, Web summit
Google employees fill Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building during a walkout, Nov. 1, 2018, in San Francisco. Hundreds of Google employees around the world briefly walked off the job in a protest against what they said is the tech company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives. VOA

Better results

Gillian Tans, chief executive at the online travel agent Booking.com, said it had been proven that companies with “more women in management positions actually perform better.”

Also Read: Silicon Valley, Google Walk Off To Protest Against Mishandling Of Sexual Harassment Cases

This comes after organizers of the Google protest and other staff said the company’s executives, like leaders at dozens of companies affected by the #MeToo movement, were slow to address structural issues such as unchecked power of male bosses.

Google’s head of philanthropy, Jacquelline Fuller, said she joined the walkout last week, admitting more needs to be done.

“We need to do a better job at creating a safe and inclusive workplace,” she said. “We need more women in tech.” (VOA)