in news again, yet another law suit. The news report in BusinessLine says “
Koehler, an IT worker with over 15 years industry experience, has alleged that
while she was qualified for the position to which she applied, Infosys
discriminated against her and chose to hire an individual of South Asian
descent for the position. She has also claimed that the company systematically
discriminates against people of non-South Asian descent.”
This should not surprise any HR manager. Such allegations are
so common that a law suit in highly litigious society like USA is not at all
surprising. Moreover big corporates are sitting ducks for making a quick buck
on such issues, or so at least litigants feel when they go to Court.
Here at home, Shiv Sena’s very power base increased because
they launched a tirade against South Indians playing favourites and employing
their own kith and kin. That was perhaps the most visible protest against
perceived favouritism in employment. ‘Marmik’ the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena used
to publish names of employees in a company with names of south Indians marked
in bold letters to make their point.
If you recall discussions in corporate parties where people
share what they feel, whether it is based on data or not, more often the
latter, you will realise that such charges are made against almost all
Here are some: Kirloskars were accused of favouring
Brahmins, particularly Karhade Brahmins in employment. Godrej and Tatas were
seen to be playing favourites to Parsee community, but since most Parsees are
so friendly and they constitute a very miniscule, almost negligible proportion
of the workforce, it was a no-threat situation. TVS group is seen as one which
favours employment of people from southern part of the country. And these are
just a few instances.
Even when companies recruit MBAs, people perceive the
differentiation. There are charges of a particular company favouring MBAs from
IIM-C or IIM-A, discriminating against lesser known institutes. Sometimes
against even other IIMs. One of the most high profile MNC is accused of 'differentiating' [read discriminating] between those who joined from campus and those who were later
recruited as ‘laterals.’ And yes, there is the huge distinction between MBAs
and those ‘who come up from ranks.’
In Government circles, interestingly both reserved category
candidates and those in the non-quota class feel discriminated against.
Many of these allegations are perceptions, and in any case,
these are difficult to prove, if not frivolous
allegations. A selection process
involves a judgement and that cannot be objective. It is difficult for many of
us to accept a ‘No’ in a selection process – we take it as a sign of rejection.
For some it is a difficult feeling to overcome.
An article in Psychology Today says, “Remember how we discussed speaking of
rejection in passive voice: "I was rejected"? Well, studies have
found that after rejection not only do we think passively, but also we act
passively.” That’s interesting, and yes, it
But as James Lee
Burke says, “There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of
yourself.” That is of course a personal choice!