There is a rising concern among today’s professionals about long-standing workplace etiquettes that they are realising do more harm than good.

The whole idea of just taking whatever seniors or other colleagues do and say without retaliating, or not reporting it is being dismissed and people are being told to take a stand for themselves and any wrong behaviour they might face in their workplace.

The sad part, however, is that while employees are taking those steps, the higher management or HR hardly takes the necessary action to make the workplace safe.

A former HSBC employee from Hyderabad has highlighted this in her post talking about how she was ethnically humiliated and objectified.

What Happened With The Employee?

Nikita Kumar took to LinkedIn to post about what happened to her. Tagging it as ‘workplace toxicity’ she began by writing, “I have been working in HSBC GSC HYD for more than a year and as this journey comes to an end now, I would like to share my experience with you all. The first thing that comes in our mind while joining any new company is about their workplace environment and their HR policies.

There have been quite a few incidents that happened during the last one year which I neglected thinking “Isn’t this what corporate life feels like?” I neglected everything to the point where it became unbearable for me and made me go through some serious mental health issues and panic attacks. The most recent incident that I would like to share with you all is when I was ethnically humiliated by one of my colleague.”

She reveals the latest incident where her colleague spoke in a very crude manner to her, targetting her ethnicity, “The most recent incident that I would like to share with you all is when I was ethnically humiliated by one of my colleague. The incident happened on 22 April 2024 when I was subjected to ethnically insensitive remarks by my colleague (name redacted).

The exacts words which was used by him is ‘EK CHAMAAT MAARENGE, BIHAR PAHUCH JAOGI’ which exactly means – I will slap you so hard, you will go back to Bihar.”

The unfortunate part in all this was that despite reporting it to her manager and HR no proper action was taken against the employee and in fact, Kumari was told to dismiss it since it wasn’t a physical assault.

She wrote, “I did follow the protocol and informed my manager #Ayeesha Talukdar about the whole incident but nothing came out of it, except for a team meeting where I was told that my colleague did not physically assault me, it was just a hatred comment which I can let go of.

I reached out to the concerned HR team and filed a POSH Complaint for the same, after weeks of the incident, on 3 May, I received an email from the HR team to give feedback for the same without any updates on what action was taken.”


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Despite all this, she was letting go of all this, thinking that since she was serving her notice period and would be leaving the office soon. However, another incident happened recently with another colleague who approached her while she was on her smoke break.

Kumar stated, “approached me and made objectifying remarks on me. The comment he made was ‘Tmhare jaisi ladki hum aaj tk ni dekhe hai, akele pura UK team ka naam kharab kr k rkhi hai.’ which means – He has never seen a girl like me, I have ruined the name of their team.

I did ask him the reason for saying such things to which he replied ‘tmhare alawa kisi UK team ki ladki ko hm ni dkhe hai cigarette pite huye’ which means – he has never seen any girl from the UK team smoking cigarettes. Later while going back inside the office, I saw him eating tobacco and spitting on the wall inside the office premises.”

She concluded her post with, “I hope this post reaches to everyone who are currently working in HSBC and to the people who are planning on joining HSBC GSC HYD before I leave.”

Several people in the comments showed support and sympathy for Kumari, agreeing that this was no way for the bank employees to behave. One user Gonela Sai Venkat wrote, “I can see all the comments from random people but I didn’t find anywhere #HSBC taking responsibility for their insane act. #shame #HSBC #Worstbank”.

Another user Maria Cecilia Solana wrote, “This should be reported to your country’s Department of labor and employment (that’s the equivalent in the Philippines) and get a good lawyer!!! It’s such a sad thing of these incidents that management is not brave enough to protect its employees who are victims of bullying….praying that you overcome this traumatic experience and that the universe will send KARMA TO THE ones who deserves bad karma.”

Marisa Adam, in the comments, wrote about her own experience as an HSBC employee writing, “I can believe it. I had an extremely poor experience at HSBC where I was denied a promotion because – and I was explicitly told by a senior HR Manager – I was not a size 8, my hair was not cut in a bob, I wore shoes that were too fashionable and I had not married into the right kind of family! Unbelievable. Despite saying the right things and having the appropriate policies, their application comes down to local leadership.”

Another added, “Disheartened about what happened. It’s high time people stop passing insensitive comments about Bihar and its people. It’s funny how insecure they can be of Biharis and their capabilities to excel in the same environment as theirs. I’m happy that you chose to speak about it OUT AND LOUD! More power to you! HSBC hope you are listening?”

A few advised her to take down her post writing, “For the good of your career, please take this down. You have identified coworkers without their permission and aired detailed issues inappropriate for this forum,” and “The incident aside – publishing internal emails on social media with personal data is likely the worst possible way to handle this situation. Emails sent and received on work email accounts are the property of HSBC, which amounts to a potentially fair reason for dismissal.”


Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Hindustan TimesThe Economic Times, Livemint

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: viral, linkedin, hsbc, hsbc employee, Hyderabad, hsbc employee Hyderabad, ethnically humiliated, objectification, workplace, toxic workplace, ethnic toxicity

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.


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