Former Wipro employee Shreya Ukil who worked in the UK, has sued the Indian IT services company seeking a compensation of 1 million pounds accusing the Indian IT firm of sex discrimination, unequal pay, harassment and unfair dismissal, a report in the Telegraph said.
"Deeply predatory, misogynistic culture"
Ukil, 39, who worked as the sales and marketing manager, told the Telegraph that she was subjected to a "deeply predatory, misogynistic culture" at Wipro. She filed a sexual discrimination and equal pay claim at the Central London Employment Tribunal where she alleged that she was manipulated into having an affair with former senior VP and global BPO head Manoj Punja, who quit the company last year. The tribunal hears claims from employer or potential employer for being treated unlawfully that includes claims of discrimination and unfair deductions from pay. Wipro veteran Punja was the CEO of the BPO business since June 2012. Prior to that, he was the chief sales and operations officer for Latin America, Africa, France, Germany and Canada. Punja is currently the executive vice president responsible for global sales, solutions and client services in Bengaluru-based IT firm Microland.
Ukil said she was forced into having an affair with her older boss and alleged that the atmosphere for women employees at Wipro was "toxic." "The culture within Wipro requires women to be subservient," she was quoted in the Telegraph. Her colleague Praneet Pittal told her that Wipro’s annual sales conference in Las Vegas meant "getting drunk, visiting strip clubs and attending some meetings", she told the Telegraph.
She also said that male colleagues "invited escorts to their rooms at sales conferences, and a top executive "misbehaved" with a Mexican dancer during a company jolly in Las Vegas", and that "Women who are confident, capable and express their viewpoints are often called ’emotional’, ‘psychotic’ or ‘menopausal. Women who supported women are called ‘lesbians’."
Aggressive sexual advances
She has also accused Punja of "aggressive sexual advances" and "abuse of power".Punja even "started talking about escort services in one of the sales conferences where he had been … and that they had escorts coming up to their rooms". Indian-born Ukil said she was treated like "dirty goods" after ending the affair and lodging complaints about her treatment. Besides the sexual discrimination and a claim over equal pay, Ukil said she faced harassment and unfair dismissal. She claimed she was paid 75,000 pounds a year as compensation, while her male colleagues earned 150,000 pounds. We have reached out to Wipro for a formal statement and is awaiting a response.
(Originally published in the Times Of India)
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