“The session conducted by the iProbono team on creating a more gender inclusive organisation was phenomenal. As an organisation working with transgender community and having trans community employees, TWEET required a customised intervention. They made sure that our team understood the nuances of community dynamics, using case studies that were contextual to our workplace.”
Shaman Gupta, Co-chair, Tweet Foundation
What is POSH?
Gender equality is enshrined in India’s Constitution, and eliminating gender-based harassment is fundamental to its legal framework. However, workplace gender-based harassment was not explicitly recognised until the Supreme Court’s landmark Vishaka Judgment. The Court issued guidelines and directed the Union of India to enact appropriate legislation. These directives had the effect of law until specific legislation was enacted.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (POSH Act) of 2013 was the first legislation in India to specifically address workplace sexual harassment. It was enacted 16 years after the Vishaka Judgment, a delay that highlights the challenges of translating legal principles into practical measures. The Act was enacted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and the government subsequently notified the rules under this Act. It is a requirement under this law for all organisations with 10 or more employees to have a POSH policy in place and form an Internal Complaints Committee to ensure compliance of the POSH Act.
A safe and respectful workplace is not just a moral imperative, but also a strategic investment in an organisation’s success. When employees feel valued and protected, they are more engaged, motivated, and productive, contributing to overall organisational performance and economic prosperity. In contrast, a hostile work environment breeds absenteeism, erodes morale, and ultimately impedes both organisational and economic growth.
The POSH policy serves as a critical mechanism for safeguarding employee well-being, by providing a platform for reporting harassment without fear of retaliation. Regular POSH training complement the policy by enhancing awareness, empowering employees to report incidents, and reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to a respectful work environment.
POSH solutions that we offer
Committed to fostering a safe and inclusive work environment, iProbono offers assistance in drafting POSH policies and delivers POSH training to staff within organisations. These sessions form an integral part of our efforts to uphold the principles of the POSH Act. Our comprehensive training sessions provide a clear understanding of gender-based harassment, encompassing both overt and subtle forms of inappropriate behaviour at the workplace. Through real-life scenarios, we guide participants in recognising potential instances of harassment, empowering them to intervene early and report such incidents.
Every organisation, its staff members and stakeholders have unique needs when it comes to POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) and gender sensitisation training. Therefore, we curate the policies and training programs to cater to the specific requirements of various organisations. We also ensure that our training sessions help every participant gain valuable insights and practical skills.
Inclusive and Interactive Trainings for Diverse Workforces
For organisations with a diverse workforce comprising board members, office staff, field workers, and Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) members, we provide nuanced trainings that addresses the specific requirements of each group. Recognising that different roles require different perspectives, we tailor our content to cater to the unique needs of different staff levels. Whether it is aimed at senior management or grassroots worker, the content is thoughtfully adapted to resonate with their experiences and responsibilities.
Our training sessions are also designed to cater to a diverse workplace audience, encompassing staff members of all gender identities. We also assist organisations in establishing gender-inclusive work cultures by drafting gender-neutral POSH policies that promote equality and respect for all.
Importantly, we ensure that our training sessions are interactive. We ditch the dry drone of formal trainings and ignite the audience’s interest through visual storytelling and pop culture references, incorporating examples from shows, relatable case studies, and bite-sized movie clips. This dynamic mix sparks curiosity, fosters connections, and transforms passive listeners into active participants.
Bridging the Gap: POSH Trainings in Native Languages for Enhanced Communication
We also recognise the significance of effective communication and tailor our trainings to the specific needs of our audience. For instance, we curate engaging and interactive trainings in the native language of the participants, predominantly Hindi for grassroots workers who interact closely with communities. By incorporating relatable examples from their daily experiences, we ensure that the training is not only informative but also culturally sensitive and readily applicable to their work settings.
Empowering the Next Generation: Interactive Gender Sensitisation Training
We also offer customised gender sensitisation trainings for different beneficiaries, including children and young adolescents, working with organisations that specifically request such sessions. We also conduct sensitisation sessions for university students, fostering an inclusive campus environment that respects diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. These trainings are designed to be age-appropriate and engaging, using interactive activities, storytelling, and discussions to impart essential knowledge and skills on gender equality, respect, and responsible behaviour.
Our commitment to customisation extends to providing personalised sessions for both staff and beneficiaries of organisations. We conduct thorough consultations with the management team of each organisation to understand their specific needs and context. This collaborative approach ensures that our trainings are not only relevant and effective but also aligned with the organisation’s overall goals and culture.
“I think this session opened my mind to the fact that I have been exposed to materials that have conditioned me to think about men and women conforming to certain gender norms. It made me realise how I have normalised many inappropriate things such as sexist jokes. It has helped me understand how I can conduct myself in line with what POSH dictates. It would be of help when I intern and work at an organisation myself. It was a fun session!”
– Riya*, Participant, Gender Sensitisation Training, Udayan Care
Our Learnings and Way Forward
Our training sessions have unearthed two crucial insights: first, the silent sting of subtle gender bias whispers louder than blatant harassment, demanding nuanced approaches beyond a simple “don’t harass” mantra. And also the positive change is that many organisations now crave inclusivity, and seek out policies and training that embrace the beautiful spectrum of genders, going beyond the binary.
Through our tailored POSH and gender sensitisation training, we strive to create workplaces where everyone feels safe, valued, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to the table. We are committed to co-creating spaces where gender equality thrives, not just survives.