TCS Under Fire for Rising Harassment Cases and Gender Pay Gap

India’s largest IT firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is under scrutiny for an increase in harassment cases and pay disparities between men and women. Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran acknowledged that while TCS has a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment, the rise in reported cases might be due to more employees speaking up.

He also denied any intentional salary differences based on gender.


“We operate in a global environment with over 600,000 employees. We promote a culture of openness, encouraging people to express themselves. If harassment occurs, we want people to report it, which could lead to more cases being recorded,” Chandrasekaran said at the annual general meeting on Friday.

Responding to a shareholder’s question about the rise in POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) cases, Chandrasekaran explained that the number of complaints increased from 49 in FY2022-23 to 110 in FY2023-24. However, the latest figures include global reports, whereas the previous year’s data only covered India.

Chandrasekaran emphasized the importance of education and zero tolerance in handling these cases. TCS, with 601,546 employees from 152 nationalities and 35.6% women, is committed to maintaining a healthy work environment.

A shareholder suggested remote working as a solution to reduce harassment. However, Chandrasekaran disagreed, stating that remote work isn’t the answer. “We aim to create careers, not just jobs. To build a strong institution, we need to invest in people and encourage career growth within the company.”

TCS has been using office attendance as a metric for determining pay hikes. According to a Mint report, employees who regularly checked into the office received higher pay hikes. TCS later informed employees that those with less than 60% office attendance wouldn’t receive performance bonuses.

The median salary gap between male and female employees was also questioned. Male employees’ median salary was ₹14.8 lakh, compared to ₹10.4 lakh for female employees. Chandrasekaran denied any bias, attributing the difference to experience and levels within salary bands.

“TCS treats everyone fairly. We want more women in senior positions. While 36% of our workforce is women, we aim to increase this and have more women in top roles,” he said.

The IT sector has maintained a 36-39% representation of women over the past year. Gender and diversity experts warn that while the sector has high female representation, there are exits at the middle and senior levels. A push for more office days could lead to more dropouts, highlighting the need to support women employees who are upskilling to stay relevant.

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