Women in senior positions in advertising, media and design industries have written an open letter condemning alleged incidents of harassment and misconduct across the industry, reported The Times of India on Saturday.
The open letter comes after two women have accused public relations consultant and author Suhel Seth of sexually harassing them several years ago. Several other women in the industry have also accused senior officials of sexual misconduct and harassment.
“Any form of harassment is not okay. Period,” said the letter. “Nobody should be able to use their power of authority or gender to discriminate, abuse or harass anyone. As an industry we cannot move forward till the time we make it a safe space for everybody.”
“We realise our leadership positions come with immense responsibility and therefore can help trigger a change, start a conversation and help bring the talk on the table,” the letter said, also calling on men in such leadership positions to help bring about such a change.
The letter signed as “The Collective” includes Tista Sen, a regional creative director at JWT, Kainaz Karmakar, the chief creative officer at Ogilvy West, Preethi Vyas, chairwoman and chief creative officer at Vyas Giannetti Creative, and Lulu Raghavan, managing director at Landor.
Since October 5, several women have used social media to make allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against several journalists, media professionals, actors, writers and others.
Union minister and former editor MJ Akbar, The Times of India’s Hyderabad resident editor KR Sreenivas, former Times of India executive editor Gautam Adhikari, and journalist Mayank Jain are among dozens of men accused of sexual harassment. Actor Alok Nath is accused of rape and sexual harassment.