Freedom to Come Out

Freedom to Come Out

Sunitha is a beautiful, bright, young engineer working in an IT company in Chennai. She was born and brought up in a small town of Andhra Pradesh. As she turned 25 years, her family eagerly started planning her marriage and looking for a suitable match.

A well-wisher brought Sagar's proposal to Sunitha's family. Sagar is handsome, smart, an engineer cum MBA from one of India's premium management institutes and works in an MNC in Bengaluru. His parents were also settled in Andhra Pradesh.

Sunitha and Sagar met each other in the presence of family members and agreed to get married. A grand engagement ceremony was conducted in Sunitha's hometown and every family living in that to


Last minute Tax Planning Tips!

Last minute Tax Planning Tips!

The 31st March deadline for completing your tax saving investments is hardly few days away and many taxpayers are running around to make investments for minimising their tax liability. Salaried taxpayers often end up paying more taxes than they are supposed to; reasons could be a lack of time for doing their tax planning or lack of knowledge about various tax rules or financial products to invest in. Let’s follow some important tips before you make your last minute investments:-



My take on the movie Tamasha: An Employee Engagement programme would have helped!

My take on the movie Tamasha: An Employee Engagement programme would have helped!

It’s not like me to really write a movie review. And this piece of writing is not intended to be so, either. It is not so much about the presentation style of the movie, but the concept presented in it. For those of you who have not yet watched the movie, I would not want this to be a spoiler for you. Do watch it first. Of course, I do hope that you will come back to read the perspective that I present here and leave behind your own comments too!

So, a bit of a background about the movie, the way I experienced it:

Starts off with scenes of a little boy, who lives in stories and for stories. He is filled with his own stories and sees characters he has heard or read


Quantity & Quality of Time: Can Fathers Have Both

Quantity & Quality of Time: Can Fathers Have Both

In Part I, I had shared some findings from a research that in.harmony had conducted in understanding Indian fathers working in India, their views on parenting especially with respect to the amount of time they spent with their children.

Our research showed that all 100 fathers who were interviewed wanted to spend more time with their children. We also saw that the role of Indian men as the main breadwinner is deeply etched in the Indian society. Taking early retirement from work to spend time with their children or help with child rearing while


FATHERS WANT MORE TIME WITH THEIR KIDS

FATHERS WANT MORE TIME WITH THEIR KIDS

Recently I read that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is taking 2 months paternity leave and my reaction was, “WOW”! The profile of fathers is indeed changing and corporates are recognizing this. Many companies in India now have a paternity leave policy, with leave ranging from 1 to 2 weeks. 2 months paternity leave is a luxury that not many people can indulge in.

A year back one of our clients called us to conduct a session exclusively for fathers on “Spending Quality Time with Children”. The company is headquartered in the US and the employees based in India had to work India as well as some bit of US work hours, leaving them with very little personal time. Employees consi


POSH Series Part 3: Sexual Harassment and a Hostile Work Environment- are they connected?

POSH Series Part 3: Sexual Harassment and a Hostile Work Environment- are they connected?

Studies cite fear of retaliation in the form of loss of income, dismissal from employment, blocking of promotions, defamation, threat from a harasser and other such reasons as some of the key reasons for not reporting sexual harassment at the workplace (Chaudhuri, 2006; Centre for Transforming India, 2010; Yugantar, 2003). It is evident that women continue to bear the sexual harassment in silence due fear of re-victimisation from the employer and the harasser.

To tackle this issue of creation of a hostile work environment, the Vishakha guidelines (1997) directed employers to provide appropriate work conditions for all women employees. In the current law, Section 3 (2) introduces t


Body Over Mind Part 4: Good Night, Good Rest

Body Over Mind Part 4: Good Night, Good Rest

A few years back, Ranjan Das, CEO of SAP India died of a heart attack. At 42 years, he was the youngest CEO of a multinational company in India. His death from a heart attack came as a shock to all who knew him. Ranjan Das was a role model to many. He was young, energetic, hardworking and ambitious. He ate right, was active in sports, worked out everyday, was a marathon runner and had no vices like smoking or drinking.

The question on everyone's mind was, "how can someone who is so active, energetic and athletic succumb to heart attack at a young age of 42 years?" True that CEO jobs are stressful. But doesn't a proper diet and fitness routine help one to cope effectively with stre


Body Over Mind Part 3: Getting Into A Routine

Body Over Mind Part 3: Getting Into A Routine

In part I of the Body Over Mind series, we saw a clear co-relation between exercise and mental wellbeing. I had also written about my own personal experience.

With something that clearly benefits both the physical and mental wellbeing of a person, one would think that everyone will have an active physical workout routine. But that is far from the reality. Despite knowing the benefits of exercise, most people find it difficult to include it in their daily routine.

Some of the reasons why people find it difficult to make a start are:
• Time: This is one of the most common reasons. Work and home responsibilities take up most of the time. How, then, shou


Body Over Mind Part 2: Guilt Free Munching This Diwali

Body Over Mind Part 2: Guilt Free Munching This Diwali

The festival of Diwali is about to light up our homes and all our lives as well. It's about lights, celebrations, mithais, namkeens and all those mouth-watering delicacies. Food has a special significance in our culture and celebration. Sharing sweets, either homemade or the bazaar, with each other is one of the highlights and in literal sense it lights up our dining tables, side tables and fridges etc

With so much temptation going around, munching on them is a natural tendency, right?
Before you start thinking, "Here's another diet article telling us not to eat what we want to eat", take heart.
I will only take you through the process of tickling your taste buds just enough to


Body Over Mind Part 1: What Exercise Does to Your Mind

Body Over Mind Part 1: What Exercise Does to Your Mind

The emphasis on physical exercise as a tonic for good health and well-being is more than ever before. Exercise helps to lose weight, look and feel good, maintain a good BMI and keep lifestyle diseases like blood pressure and diabetics in control. A plethora of reasons for people to exercise!

What is a more compelling reason though, is its impact on mental health. Many research studies have shown that exercise helps one to cope better with stress and increases mental well-being. Exercise releases feel good chemicals in the brain; chemicals that can boost your self-esteem, help you concentrate, sleep and look better, improve sex-life and even


POSH Series Part 2: Relevance of Counseling Skills for the POSH Committee

POSH Series Part 2: Relevance of Counseling Skills for the POSH Committee

‘My blood is boiling!’ Aarti looked like she was ready to kill someone. It was an expression that was not familiar on her face. 

‘I really wish Dhiren would stop staring at me. It is so annoying!’ She was referring to a colleague, who though was not part of her team, worked in the same organisation. She shared her work space with him. ‘In spite of telling him, he continues to watch me all the time!’ 

I made an unhelpful but the most obvious suggestion that came to mind. ‘Tell him again. More assertively this time.’ 

She gave me an exasperated look. ‘Well, he denied that he stares. Also it is so awkward to keep telling someone that they ha


POSH Series Part 1: What does it take to implement a Sexual Harassment Law in India?

POSH Series Part 1: What does it take to implement a Sexual Harassment Law in India?

What it takes to implement a law on sexual harassment at the workplace in India

The Vishakha guidelines (1997) affirmed that sexual harassment of women was common and resulted in violation of their fundamental rights to life and liberty guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. The Apex court specified that the guidelines would be binding and enforceable on all employers until the Indian Parliament enacted suitable legislation to replace them. Looking at the dismal and faulty implementation of the Vishakha guidelines, fourteen years later a Joint Parliamentary Committee (2011) recommended a special law safeguarding rights of women at workplace. The Committee concluded that give


Being an Inclusive Parent

Being an Inclusive Parent

Recently I attended an online course on inclusive leadership wherein the concept of EACH was discussed. EACH* stands for Empowerment, Accountability, Courage and Humility. While we usually think of inclusive leadership in terms of corporate leaders and managers, this course got me thinking on how to include this concept of EACH in parenting.

Being the parent of a 16 year old is a challenge akin to an organization that is going through dramatic changes; where communication channels are blocked and at times, missing; where every employee has his/her own agenda which, in most cases, is not in sync with the company’s goal; basically, all factors that create an unstable environment. A


Maternity Leave: Supervisor’s Perspective

Maternity Leave: Supervisor’s Perspective

‘When are you planning to go on your maternity leave?’ That was his first question to me, Nikita lamented. I had just announced my pregnancy news and that is all he asked me. Such an insensitive person!’

Each time we have conducted an insighting or a diagnostics study on gender diversity in an organisation, at least 1 woman has related an incident similar to this. A discussion with the supervisor, however, reveals the other side of the story.

The new motherhood phase is one of the most challenging phases of a career woman’s life. Much has already been talked about this.

While, of course, it is a joyous event, it also brings with it its own set of concerns and dil


Relevance of Teaching Life Skills to Children

Relevance of Teaching Life Skills to Children

Think of your regular day… If you are a married, working professional with kids how many hats do you wear in a single day? Employee hat, Spouse hat, Parent hat, Son/ daughter hat, Sibling hat, Friend hat, Colleague hat, Citizen hat....and many more.

You could beat the smartest juggler in the world with the amount of hat juggling you are unconsciously doing every day.  How does it make you feel?

While juggling multiple roles does come with a sense of accomplishment, it also leaves many people exhausted, stressed and with a feeling of inadequacy in meeting multiple role commitments.

As a parent, have you ever stopped to think that at some point your kid/s will also


Can employees really become Strong Brand Ambassadors?

Can employees really become Strong Brand Ambassadors?

Nestle Global Chairman and Managing Director, Etienne Benet, has asked all employees, their family members and friends to become “valued brand ambassadors” for the company in the midst of one of the biggest crisis the company has had to face in the recent times.

Can such brand ambassadors be created overnight?

What’s in it for the employees besides their job? What would motivate an employee to stand up for his/ her company against something as stormy as high levels of lead content in a popular and “healthy” snack like Maggie?

Let’s move aside and see in what situations we, as individuals, are willing to lend such whole-hearted, unconditional support?&nbs


Single and Re-locating? Enjoy the experience!

Single and Re-locating? Enjoy the experience!

‘Oh my weekend was just about ok. I was home most of the time. I don’t really have friends here. Just one relative and I cannot keep going to their house every weekend’, Swati told me, with a forlorn look.  

It’s almost a year since Swati had moved to Mumbai when she had landed an opportunity that would take her career a notch up. The price that she had to pay for this was to move out of her family nest, leave behind everything that she was familiar and take on the daunting challenge of living in a city all by herself. She had taken on the challenge no doubt, but she often experienced pangs of loneliness and despair. 

I have heard Swati’s story many


Its MY Life!

Its MY Life!

Over the past year, we have heard of many rape cases in the country. Every time an incident surfaces, parents and concerned well-wishers of women panic and try to protect them by curtailing their movements, insisting on a male escort, regular reporting etc.

So, is a woman to stop working? Should she avoid the late working hours and in the process, miss out on some key projects? Should she not use public transport means? Should she be living in fear all the time? Should organisations stop hiring women employees? Should they insist that their women employees leave every evening by a certain time even though their male colleagues are working late to complete an assignment? Wouldn’t a