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American Express India Campus – A Sexual Playground

Good Morning Planet

Susan Fowler is a human resources nightmare.

She’s the former engineer who blew the whistle on sexism and harassment at Uber, and she’s not the only one. Fowler and her colleagues complained to Uber’s leadership about the culture of harassment within the organization, and they were routinely dismissed by everybody — including the HR department.

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It was only when Fowler wrote a blog post detailing her complaints, and it went viral, that Uber got serious. The company hired former US Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation and understand why so many women had such bad things to say about their employee experience. The report was damning, and more than 20 people have been fired for inappropriate conduct. Travis Kalanick, the CEO, just resigned under pressure from investors. – Laurie Ruettimann


This does sound like a win for corporate harassed, proud, high-heeled women. And if I was an ignorant women, I would have been celebrating. But unfortunately this is not a win. Making a sexual predator take the fall after years and years of exploitation is no achievement. It’s still as unfortunate, as, he being allowed to grope more pieces of  fair flesh.

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Travis Kalanick is not the problem. He is just a small rotor in the bigger, depraved, insane, world of corporate anarchy. Lets explore the problem. I can easily google out facts about women being sexually exploited by corporate honchos and prove my point, but I guess we all agree. We are not in disagreement. Hence, let me tell you a story. And this goes deeper than you can imagine –

Before I decided to be an ape and mimic Snowden, I gave 8 years to such corporations. I have a flawless work record wherein I always exceeded my Corporate Psychopath’s expectations. But twice I failed. I failed miserably. I did do what I thought is considered work but they wanted more. I failed when it came to Great Expectations.

I was an 18 year old kid when I joined my first job in Barclays. It was fun. I loved my work. Everyone was in love with me. I brought a fresh vibe to an extremely sullied work culture. My operations manager was a homosexual. I never judge anyone. I was least concerned about his sexual preferences.  I enjoyed his company. It seemed nice when he used to call me, especially for smoke breaks. He used to show interest in my family affairs, always trying to know me in a better manner. Little did I know the real reason.

One day he proposed an outing, just for the two of us. He took me to Chandni Chowk, New Delhi and treated me with a nice dinner. I generally avoid alcohol. My brain freezes, mostly, when I am intoxicated. But if your so called ‘Boss’ insists, you, tend to say yes. I am not too sure about you, but that’s what I did. And then after some time, I felt dizzy. I requested him to drop me home as I was in no shape to handle myself. Then happened something terrible which woke me up with a jolt.

Instead of dropping me at my place, he started to drive towards his home. Before I could understand the gravity of the situation, he started touching me at places, which I am absolutely sure, another man shouldn’t. I was a kid but I was no saint. I knew a lot about bullies and my mother had taught me a great life lesson – Bully the Bully.

I hit his head so hard on the steering wheel that he almost ended up crashing in the divider , splitting the roads. I was miles away from my place but little did I cared, I ran, I ran like wind, I ran like river and then came tomorrow. I was hell bent on involving my managers and human resources to get him punished but to my surprise, they laughed at me. They said I was intoxicated and I just got confused. No one was willing to hear my side. As a matter of fact I was advised to take leave of absence to see a psychiatrist. Well that was hurtful but anyways, who cares about a petty job. You might, I never. So I quit my job and joined Dell.

Dell was and still is, an amazing workplace. I never heard or experienced any such incident. Everyone just wanted to work. I must hand it over to Micheal, he certainly does a good job managing his centers.

After Dell I joined American Express India Campus. Amex is a paymaster and an equal opportunity provider. I guess the ratio of female employees exceeds men. I am a practical person and I understand this world is full of misogynist men who prowl for women at every turn. I was extremely glad to see such an excellent empowering workforce. Now it’s more than 5 years since that gladness was slowly poisoned by shame and sorrow.

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I worked hard and rose ranks but the higher I went, the petite I became. I was surprised to see a culture wherein women were treated like goods and sexual favors were a required service. Throughout my tenure I witnessed, both actively and passively, sexual exploitation of my colleagues. The worst part is these women were okay with the arrangement.

Amex pays a minimum of $800/pm. There is no other organization which is even closer to this pay grade. Any sane person would not like to quit or be thrown out from such a promising and rewarding job. The corporate psychopaths who are like a weed in American Express are well aware of this fact.

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They use team leaders as pimps and send out requests for sexual favors masked under the corporate term ‘Grooming’. Here’s a glimpse :

Boss: Vineet, thinks you are a great talent and would like to invest in you personally. He wants to groom you, so that you realize your true potential and be a part of higher management.

Female employee : That’s so great. Thank you sir. What would I need to do?

Boss: Oh you are a smart female. I am sure you would figure things out. I would only suggest you to make sure you be around him, harvesting and cultivating relationships

The above mentioned conversation happened in front of me and later on this female had to quit her job. Apparently she wasn’t too good at harvesting and cultivating relationships.

Even the human resources team and other managers would advise you to leave the job if you bring an incident like this in front of them. Their logic is that this would impact badly on the victim’s chances of growing inside the organization as she might me termed – Troublemaker, and nobody likes troublemakers.

Similarly there are multiple incidents but I am not interested in sharing things which I din’t personally experience. I quit my job when I realized how corrupt the system is and doesn’t matter how hard I try, I cannot change it by being a part of it. I quit my job and I am not too sure about the changes I have been able to drive but at least now I am no longer witnessing such degradation of morality and that too just for few extra bucks and a shining title.

I would request all my sisters to openly condemn such acts and not to give up under fear of shame. Shame is within, if you hide exploitation. It doesn’t go anywhere. You cannot face a mirror if ashamed. Bring such sexually depraved people out in the open. Only you can. Your voice matters.

Enough being a victim. Drive change. Don’t wait for change to drive you. You might miss the ride which they call life.

Have a good day ahead.

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10 Comments »

  1. As an employee of American Express and more importantly as a woman; I strongly condone this blog. Just because you and people you know in a particular “line of business” witnessed or was subjected to such a horrific ordeal does not put you in a position to generalize about the entire organization. For everyone’s benefit, Amex India campus has north of 6000 employees and has a fair share of women employees and I can vouch for the fact that what’s depicted above is an exception and not a norm like its projected to be. Sensationalizing an event/incident may get you 15 minutes of fame but it would not impact the reputation of the organization

    • I worked for amex @ the India campus north of 8 years before leaving. I have to completely agree with this blog about Amex India Campus. During my tenure there I had the opportunity to work in 4 different verticals and it was the same in every process, exactly like it’s been mentioned in the blog. I personally know an ex employee who was sexually assaulted in the elevator in the office building and when she took it up with the ER and HR team they asked her to take her complaint back as there was no camera in the elevator. They were not ready to believe her and eventually she was forced out of the company but nothing was done to the guy. She eventually lodged an FIR after leaving amex. When the cops showed up at the campus the HR team asked the guy not to go out and later sneaked him out in someone’s car. Eventually he was asked to resign which they should have done when the girl brought up his misconduct in the very first place. This is just one of the many more stories I can recount from my tenure there. The HR team gets hell bent on discrediting anyone who alleges sexual harrasment at the workplace there. I have personally seen SDL’s and Director’s in this company seeking personal favours from female employees. So instead of closing your eyes and defending your place of work because of some False sense of loyalty you should be doing something to stop these kind of things if you can. God knows I didn’t and I regret it.

      • So what if you couldn’t stand up for what was right at that point, you have redeemed yourself by not only accepting the problem but also having the courage to support an attempt to highlight such misdoings.
        We salute you! Lucifer…this one’s for you!

  2. Hi, Miss Sanity Prevails. I am really happy that you took out your time to reply but truth doesn’t hide in shadows. If you really believe in what you are saying, please come out in the open and take responsibility for your remark. My name is Nishant, May I know your name? Or else I am going to assume, you are just a paid bot and you were asked to leave this comment. American express bosses have methodically destroyed women both emotionally and sexually. For your kind information, I have raised the same with Ken and people are going to investigate my claims. You make sure you stand by your statement as I have enough proofs to counter your belief and I really find your belief amusing. Susan Fowler’s blog had similar paid comments from shadows , so I will not take you seriously. Why did you shy away from leaving this comment on Facebook? Are you Miss Sharma?

    • You know my friend broken radio, I usually agree with the things you say. I read your posts about politics and a lot of things, and I always agree. You say that some of the policies have been made incorrectly and that people at the top are being dishonest and all that yeah that could be a possibility too. But don’t take it out on American express in general. Name the person who you think did wrong.
      I mean, saying stuff like this also inavdenetnly raises a question on the characters of a lot of honest people who also work there. I mean I’ve never done anything like that. And let’s just say your right about all this, what do you want us to do? Closet the company? And then what would all these honest people who are trying to provide for there dependents do?
      Alot of companies have a lot of flaws, you don’t have to single out American express for being the worse.
      It’s easy to point out flaws, but shouldn’t you rather become a part of the mess and try to clean it up rather than quitting and just complaining?
      You my friend, are my friend, but you gotta stop taking digs at American Express. And if your gonna keep on doing that cuz this type of content is juicy and your want for juicy content outwieghs the livelyhood of all those honest people who also work there, than you are no less than all the policy makers and corporates you call out on all the time

  3. Not many people have the courage to highlight corporate filth behind the shiny,.branded clothes. Kudos to the writer.
    As for the person commenting above condemning the blog (sorry, can’t make out whether you’re a male, female, hermaphrodite or the coward involved in this incident himself) what’s stopping you from naming yourself?
    Nobody is saying all of American Express is bad. There are incidents that must be highlighted. By your logic, even a rape should not be reported in fact any crime should not be reported unless it happens everyday. If God forbid it’s you, would you keep quite just b cause it happened once? Shameful.

  4. It’s so satisfying to read your post. At last someone who has witnessed this corporate shit of CPS Amex has proof and courage to make it public. I’ve also dealt with Miss Sharma and Mr Greedy, and trust me none of them was deserving enough to be a leader in any way.

    I worked in Amex for 3 year however, pride of being an American express employee was soon lost after my first interaction with Vineet, he promised me growth sooner than I expected but he wanted something in return he called it a favor (I’m male and no he’s not homosexual) he wanted me to create a case against my Team Leader and get him out of the organization. Me being a fresher and new to Corp took it as an opportunity. I did his job, got nothing in return may be because I don’t have a hole between my legs or he thought he could use me in future when required. After 4 months and no growth again he got in touch with me but this time thru his ‘Trusted’ source. He wanted me to do this again but for another TL. This time I refused and that was end of my dream to grow in here. Still I worked for another 2years in hope that my effort and work would pay off but that’s not enough in Amex not until you become their slave.

    What I shared is my personal experience with “The Most Employee Centric Organization” there are 100s may be 1000s of employees still in Amex who are still facing this.

    Thanks for writing The Blog Nishant.

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