Especially if you’re working in technology.
The 30 female engineers are urging their employers, as well as corporate America at large, to include caste as a protected category, so that they feel comfortable reporting this type of bias to human resources. The group includes a few engineers who worked on contract for U.S. tech companies — both in the United States and India through multinational outsourcing companies. However, most of the women are currently tech employees living in the United States.
The female engineers described Indian engineering managers from dominant castes who excluded them from opportunities for promotion, made inappropriate jokes about Dalit and Muslim women and about Dalit reservations (the Indian government’s term for affirmative action), and, in the worst cases, subjected them to sexual harassment.
The Dalit women said they immigrated to the United States hoping to escape bullying and abuse they endured at India’s top engineering schools, where members of the dominant castes questioned their competence as developers. But elite academic centers, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), also act as a feeder system for tech talent to Silicon Valley.
In the Cisco case, for instance, both John Doe and the manager who outed him graduated from IIT Bombay.
Harvard professor Ajantha Subramanian, author of “The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India,” says the IITs have an “outsized influence in U.S. tech culture” through powerful alumni networks that have facilitated the entry of a younger generation into Silicon Valley.
My own experience has taught me that whenever somebody believing in caste is doing the selection process in Technology, that Americans like myself are considered to be the Dalit caste.
This is sad in a country where we used to believe in equal opportunity for all regardless of circumstances of birth and based on their ability to contribute to the solution.
I would recommend you study this page for an explanation of caste as you might find yourself excluded at some point and it would help if you understood why so that you could fight it.