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Actress Swara Bhaskar Says “Sexual Harassment Cases at Workplace Are Like an Epidemic”

On the acting front, Swara has two web-series in the pipeline

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Swara Bhaskar
Sexual harassment cases at workplace are like an epidemic: Swara. flickr
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Actress Swara Bhaskar, who has been a supporter of India’s #MeToo movement, says that sexual harassment cases at the workplace are like an epidemic. She hopes to bring awareness about it via the film and television industry.

The Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) recently announced that it will be setting up committees to tackle sexual harassment in the industry and will have actors Swara Bhaskar, Renuka Shahane and Raveena Tandon among others as members.

Talking about her role in the committee, Swara said, “I am part of a sub-committee which is formed by CINTAA which will conduct workshop regarding awareness against sexual harassment at the workplace for its members. We have total 24 unions in our industry and it has more than 5 lakh members in it so we will try to work together on this front with these unions.”

“When you hear about #MeToo stories then, you will realize that cases of sexual harassment at workplace are like an epidemic. It is like a disease so, awareness regarding that is really important so through this sub-committee, we will generate awareness among our members,” said the actress, who was at The Wedding Junction Show 2018 here.

Nana patekar, metoo
Tanushree Datta Started the MeToo Movement few days back in Bollywood.

On the acting front, Swara has two web-series in the pipeline.

“One of them is titled ‘It’s Not That Simple’ season 2… Apart from that, I am doing an interesting series called ‘Rasbhari’,” she said.

Also Read- Loss of Teeth in Elder People Linked to Malnutrition

“After that, I am starting another very interesting series at the end of this year in which I am playing a police officer for which I have to speak in Marathi, so that’s a challenge because I have been living in Mumbai from many years but its first time that I will be speaking Marathi for my project.”

Swara’s upcoming web series “Rasbhari”, directed by Nikhil Bhat, will be a 10 episode series set in the local culture and flavour of small town Uttar Pradesh. She will be playing an English teacher named Shanoo in a Meerut school who has caught the attention of a boy from the 11th grade. (IANS)

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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)