IT Company To Lead Bias Extremism?
Infosys stops women and Indians from being hired
Jill Prejean, former vice president of talent acquisition with Infosys, in her complaint filed in a US court.
She alleges that senior executives directed her to avoid hiring candidates of Indian origin, women with children at home and candidates over 50 years of age
The ‘culture of bias’ at Infosys which stopped women and Indians from being hired, headquarts in Bengaluru, has rejected the allegations made by Jill Prejean.
What the matter really is all about
Jill Prejean, former vice president of talent acquisition with Infosys, says she was hired by the behemoth in 2018 at the age of 59 to find workers for its $1 billion-a-year consulting division.
In her complaint, which she filed in September last year against former Infosys partners Jerry Kurtz and Dan Albright and former head of consulting, Mark Livingston.
“A rampant culture of illegal discriminatory animus among the partner level executives based on age, gender and caregiver status”. Said Jill
In her complaint, Jill says that she tried to “change this culture within the first two months of her employment” but was met with resistance from Infosys partners — Jerry Kurtz and Dan Albright.
The complaint goes on to claim that when a new supervisor, Infosys’s former head of consulting, Mark Livingston, was hired, she “received an order to institute such unlawful hiring criteria,” and that her objections “resulted in a direct and immediate threat to her job, and ultimately did cost her job.”
Jill alleges that Livingston demanded that she should “not put forward candidates for jobs who were over 50 years of age and women who had children at home.”
In her complaint, she claims that Livingston, who supervised her, would “get angry and raise his voice” when she refused to make “prohibited, discriminatory inquiries of candidates.”
That he also “treated her like a secretary”; and vetoed the hiring of a “highly qualified female candidate because of one comment from a man.”
When Prejean resisted the discriminatory practices, she was told she could lose her job and constantly faced harassment from the executives. The fact, when she complained to human resources against Livingston, Prejean claims she was unceremoniously ‘sacked’.
She has claimed significant economic loss, emotional distress, humiliation, insomnia, anxiety and depression due to these alleged unlawful acts by the company and its executives.
Infosys has rejected the claims and also filed a motion to dismiss the suit, which has now been rejected by the US court. Instead the court has asked the defendants to file their answer within 21 days.
Infosys Bias Accusations
This isn’t the first allegation of bias that the IT giant is facing.
In January 2021, four former Infosys employees charged that the Indian IT consulting firm discriminated against them because they were women.
The complaint alleged that a male Infosys executive had admitted the company discriminates against women in American offices because male employees “have families to support,” whereas “women have husbands to support them”, was reported to the media.
Past and present employees in the IT sector have repeatedly spoken of a bias in their industry. Research carried out by CoderPad, a candidate assessment platform, in early 2022 revealed that almost 65 per cent of workers within the industry, including recruiters, said bias was an issue in tech recruitment.
Other companies such as Google, Microsoft And Wipro were also charged for Gender, Nationality and other Bias.
Moreover, a survey of 2,030 workers between the ages of 18 and 28 conducted in the US in July 2021, found that 50 per cent said they had left or wanted to leave a tech or IT job “because the company culture made them feel unwelcome or uncomfortable”.