Shreya Ukil wins landmark sex discrimination, equal pay and victimisation lawsuit against Wipro
Shreya Ukil, a senior female executive who took on Wipro, a large outsourcing firm, has won an equal pay, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and victimisation case which she brought against her former employer.
Ukil claimed that the leadership team at the outsourcing firm Wipro, including CEO TK Kurien, conspired to push her out of her job and out of her UK role. The damning judgment found that “direction had come from the very top and was followed through with considerable resolve”.
The tribunal found that Ukil was victimised by Wipro’s leadership team for speaking up about sex discrimination, unequal pay and a culture of sexism.
Ukil, who worked with Wipro for almost 10 years, won multi-million dollar contracts for the firm and received numerous performance awards, started raising concerns in 2012, which went unheeded.
Instead of addressing Ukil’s concerns, a series of decisions were made by management behind the scenes, including Inderpreet Sawhney, Wipro’s Chief Legal Counsel, Saurabh Govil, Global Head, HR and Wipro CEO,TK Kurien in a bid to remove Ukil from her role in London. The tribunal inferred that “steps were thereafter taken to ensure that she was not able to move anywhere else in Europe.” The tribunal outlined that “the view was taken that the risk of (Ukil) causing difficulty by taking some further action on that allegation (of sex discrimination) would be most effectively contained or averted, were she to be removed to India.”
Ukil was further required to sign an indemnity by the Chief Legal Counsel to waive all claims against the company that she might make, as Wipro became increasingly fearful of claims of sexual harassment she might make against a senior management team member. Having lost all faith, Ukil raised her final grievances with Wipro’s Chairman, Azim Premji, who assured her of a fair and impartial investigation.