Creative Chaos CEO asked to resign for asking hijab-wearing employee to resign


LAHORE: The chief executive officer (CEO) of Karachi-based software house Creative Chaos, Jawwad Kadir was asked to resign on Friday after telling an employee to remove her hijab or find work in an ‘Islamic environment’.

Kadir had released a public apology in which he had made a scapegoat of the manager while failing to acknowledge his role in the situation.

A few hours later, the software house in a Facebook post said Kadir had been asked to step down “for workplace discrimination”. This came after public fury at the CEO’s actions.

Earlier during the day, it had emerged that a newly hired employee of Creative Chaos Software Services was discriminated against on the basis of her hijab and asked to take it off in order to keep her job.

The information came to light after a friend of the said employee shared a status on social media website Facebook detailing her friend’s experience with the software company in which she said that first the manager and then the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) himself, not only asked the employee to dispose of her hijab but also to tender in a resignation in case of failing to do so.

She had been employed only a few days ago.

According to the post, a girl in hijab would spoil the company’s image as an ‘all-embracing workplace that offers freedom to its employees’.

Furthermore, the employee was told that she should apply to Al Meezan or Al Barakah banks because she will be better suited over there as they are Islamic banks. The victim was also warned not to consider legal options against the company as she was a fresh graduate and it would ruin her career.

Soon after the post began doing rounds on social media, the company issued an apology on their Facebook page.

“Yesterday, a senior member of our staff asked a colleague to resign on unprofessional and unethical grounds,” admitted CEO Jawwad Kadir. “She was told that her obligations may come in the way of her performance.

“Not only is this action disgraceful but shows extremely poor moral judgement by her hiring manager. I take full responsibility for this failure and am deeply ashamed that a colleague was put through distress and trauma.”

Jawwad further stated that the manager who conveyed the message has been suspended while a transparent inquiry has been initiated against him as well. He also said that the victim has been asked to withdraw her resignation and resume her job. However, he did not mention anything about his own meeting with the victim in which he repeated the company’s stance.

People were quick to show distaste. Reviews on the company’s Facebook page were an insight.

Other’s mentioned how she might be working in an environment where she is forced to resign due to her action against the company.

There were others who had pointed out the CEO’s suspicious behaviour.

According to a local media outlet, Kadir sent an email to the company’s board members and associates, titled ‘My apology is not enough’.

He wrote that he was resigning as CEO of the software house. “I have crossed a line which I deeply regret. I have jeopardised the image of Creative Chaos and tarnished its reputation due to my inability to act in accordance with the ethos of [the company] and moral code of human decency,” he wrote and added, “The buck stops at the CEO.”