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Afiniti founder, Zia Chishti, steps down after sexual harassment case

The allegations emerged during a US congressional committee hearing which looked into how forced arbitrations clauses in employment contracts can make victims of workplace sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination move into private arbitrations.

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Founder of Afiniti, Zia Chishti, with Pakistani roots and Sitara-i-Imtiaz has been accused of serious workplace sexual harassment allegations by a former employee. Chishti is the CEO of the data and software company Afiniti. The accuser was a former employee of Afiniti.

The allegations emerged during a US congressional committee hearing which is looking at how forced arbitrations clauses in employment contracts can make victims of workplace sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination move into private arbitrations. The employee told members of US Congress that she had been pressured into a sexual relationship by Chishti.

Tatiana Spottiswoode told the committee that despite not giving consent to the sexual relationships she was forced into it, Zia Chishti even beat her on an overseas trip. Afterward, Chishti initiated arbitration against her and her father who was also employed by Afiniti.

“My body was covered with scratches, cuts, and contusion. I had bruises around my neck that looked like I had been strangled, a large bump on my head, a black eye,” the report quoted her as saying.

Read more: Ayeza Khan misuses sexual harassment charge in drama serial

In 2019, Spottiswoode’s arbiter ruled in her favor that she had been sexually assaulted and harassed by Chishti, after which he offered her to pay $1 million to drop arbitration if she erased the ruling.

He has now stepped down from his post. “The Board of Directors of Afiniti, Ltd. (“Afiniti”) announces that Mr. Zia Chishti has stepped down from his role as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Afiniti, effective immediately. The Board will make additional organizational announcements in the coming days,” said the software company Afiniti in its official statement.

The news of allegations of sexual harassment against Zia Chishti has shaken the Pakistan Stock Exchange as well since Chishti is the owner of the TRG Pakistan. The share price of TRG also dropped by 9.78% after the news broke on media.

Read more: Countrywide Protests Held on Balochistan University’s Sexual Harassment

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameroon had also quit as the Chairman of the advisory board of Afiniti. Meanwhile, a member of Britain’s royal family Princess Beatrice is also associated with the organization.

 

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