A 27-year-old Indian chartered accountant working for Ernst and Young passed very tragically, shocking Sydney’s corporate sector. Indian citizen Aishwarya Venkatachalam was discovered dead on August 27 after she fell from a terrace of Sydney’s Ernst & Young tower at 12:20 AM.
In 2015, Aishwarya graduated from Pune, Maharashtra’s Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. According to her LinkedIn page, she spent three years working at Grant Thorton before relocating to Ernst & Young to pursue her “dream job.” She has been at Ernst & Young for 11 months. She was married, and when she passed away, her husband was flying from Singapore to Sydney.
CCTV footage showed Aishwarya returning to the building between 7 PM and 7:30 PM, and she was travelling between floors and even talking to her husband at 8 PM. Witnesses informed Daily Mail that Aishwarya was sobbing in a neighbouring parking lot and said that “all white people were racists.”
The entire sequence is yet unknown to the police, but according to the complaint, Aishwarya was escorted out of an EY work event at the Ivy as a witness and two other ladies sought to assist her.
Aishwarya flinched at first as they approached her and remarked, “All white people are racist.” The witness claims that she also kept stating that she had been fired from her job.
The witness said that while sobbing uncontrollably, she repeated that over ten times. She had been drinking, but she wasn’t entirely inebriated since she was suffering a panic attack. When they managed to calm her down, she said that she wanted to enter her office at EY because she had forgotten her home key and no one would let her up even though she had her swipe tag.
Management at Ernst & Young has opened a thorough enquiry into allegations that a young lady who died after falling from her building’s 11th floor was bullied at work and a victim of racism. The Indian national’s complaints to friends about the racial abuse she experienced in Australia and her “mean colleagues” at work were made public on Tuesday by Daily Mail Australia.
The financial services firm Ernst & Young, now known as EY, has committed to look into the claims and take whatever steps are required to put an end to them, pledging to have “zero tolerance” for such behaviour.
A spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia, that the company has a zero-tolerance response to bullying, harassment and racism, and they take any allegations that relate to these issues very seriously.
She further said, “the reviews we launched last week following this tragedy is ongoing, and it would be inappropriate to comment further until it is complete. We are continuing to offer all our people counselling and support.”
Neeti Bisht, a close friend told Daily Mail Australia that Ms. Venkatachalam, a bridesmaid at her wedding, had experienced social isolation since arriving in Australia as a senior EY auditor in real estate assurance 11 months ago.
Ms. Venkatachalam, according to Ms. Bisht, informed her she dealt with racism and bullying at work but otherwise was prospering in Australia. Bisht added, “She was a happy soul and was finding her feet in Australia … She mentioned how mean some of her colleagues were. I believe things had just begun to brew at that point… She said that the racist element and her coworkers were involved.”
According to Ms Venkatachalum’s uncle, who lives in Canada, the family is having a difficult time accepting her death. He said that before getting married, settling down, and moving to Australia in November of last year, his niece earned an accounting degree in India. “She was very educated, beautiful and brilliant,” he said.
He further added that she was a very good woman who had a great upbringing. I have no idea how this could have happened. Her parents are incredibly kind and caring. Both of them and she were supporting each other.
The coroner’s report is still being written, according to an NSW Police spokesman, who was unable to comment on the timing of the body’s return to India.