Corporate India raises safety budgets by 65 percent: ASDF survey

Women in BPO. Image courtesy

Corporate’s have been emphasizing on the safety and security of their employees, particularly the womenfolk, in the aftermath of the Delhi rape incident. Based on the advice of the government, corporate companies have responded positively by increasing safety budgets to as high as 65%. The findings have been made by a survey conducted by ASDF (ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation).

The survey ‘Women Safety and Security Budgets for 2013-14’ bases its findings on the responses of executives belonging to over 2,500 large, medium and small businesses during the period January 2013 to February in regions like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Pune etc.

89% of the executives who responded to the survey said that the process for improving safety and security for women in workplaces in under way. The survey mainly focused on sectors such as IT/ITes, BPO, financial services, hospitality, tourism, real estate, media and advertising, FMCG, manufacturing and textiles and so on.

According to D S Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM, the survey revealed the likelihood of increase in budgets for safety and security by all companies, both big and small. This phenomenon has been strong after the Delhi incident which shook the morale of the workforce everywhere. He also complimented ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ which is the government initiative aimed at improving empowerment, safety and security of women in India by allocation Rs 1,000 crores.

Observations from the Women Safety Survey in India

The survey indicates a more stable work environment in the future. It notes:

  • Almost 82 percent of the companies under the survey intend to increase their safety budgets in 2013.
  • 55 percent increase in security budgets is seen in 79 percent of financial services.
  • For real estate, 65 percent organizations are increasing safety budgets, which is a 60 percent rise from the previous year.
  • For manufacturing and textiles, the budget allocation for safety and security has increased by 12 percent.
  • 56 percent of organizations in hospitality and tourism will increase their budgets by 48 percent.

Measures for security of women undertaken by corporate India

Companies are hiring male security guards to accompany women who travel alone. The shift jobs in companies, especially BPO/ITes sector, have incorporated multi-level safety measures. Late night cabs are employed and every route and cabs is registered with transport department.

Vehicle-tracking systems have also been introduced which helps security officials to track cab locations when ferrying employees.

The security guard accompanying the employee is equipped with walky-talky enabling him to keep in touch with transport department. Women are also given first preference in parking lots to allow them access to safe parking spots. Safety is also assured in the case of women travelling on assignments.

Corporate India has been boosting the security measures implemented for women employees with the above-mentioned methods. Pepper spray supply and 24×7 helpline are increasingly coming in vogue. The survey also mentions that karate and other self-defense classes are also being implemented by companies to empower their womenfolk.

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