India has over 600 million Millennials (those born after 1984), many of whom spend a sizeable chunk of their lives in workplaces. And they have their own set of demands for basic rights at work. To understand these, let us first look into some of the prevailing customs in Indian workplaces.
Indian workplaces continue to be defined by unequal opportunities and a lack of inclusivity.
For one, the gender wage gap continues to be high. A recent report found that men earn 67% more than women, and are more likely to rise to leadership and managerial roles.
Then there’s the problem of caste. Dalits and those belonging to lower caste backgrounds have little or no access to white collar jobs. Affirmative action policies are not in place when it comes to corporate jobs. Dalit women, for instance, have little presence in corporate offices. According to this 2010 study, only 10% of the Dalit women sampled had incomes over ₹9,000 per month.
And this is not all. Sexual harassment continues to be a major issue in Indian workplaces. According to this survey, 38% of working women faced some form of sexual harassment or other. And another study reports that 70% of working women do not report instances of sexual harassment, for fear of losing their jobs!
Easily dismissed as ‘lazy’, ‘entitled’ or ‘difficult to manage’, the truth is, Millennials are more aware of the problems plaguing our society and they refuse to settle for inadequate policies, which come at their expense. But when wanting things like equal pay and a sexual harassment free workplace are supposed to make one ‘narcissistic’, then what indeed is the #FutureOfWork?