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Business consortium pushing for LGBTI inclusion in India

Business consortium pushing for LGBTI inclusion in India


About 30 massive unnamed businesses are working together to empower LGBTI workers in India.

IBM is leading the initiative of bringing together the multinational companies (MNCs). They plan to work out strategies together to become more inclusive of LGBTI employees.
‘We cannot name the companies but these are a mix of MNCs and Indian companies from technology, retail and FMCG domain,’ Ajay Dua, executive sponsor LGBTI, IBM India told The Economic Times.

‘We are visibly LGBT-inclusive in the external marketplace to remain an employer of choice for this talent pool. Our hiring practices are inclusive.’

The Indian branch of global consultancy firm Bain & Company started aiming for greater diversity amongst its workforce last year.

‘The association provides a unified diversity message throughout the recruiting process, an open communication channel with leadership to advise them on relevant policies, ensure a supportive work environment, and overall awareness of LGBT issues,’ said Bain partner, Parijat Ghosh.

Other MNCs spoke to The Economic Times about how their European and US offices already had diversity policies in place. But the companies were hesitant to go on the record because of a lack of legal protection for their employees.

‘We have two LGBT employees and it is disclosed to management at the time of hiring but we would want their identities protected, mainly because of legal reasons,’ said a spokesperson for a consumer goods firm.

Inclusion means attracting the best talent

Real estate company Godrej has gone one step further in promoting inclusivity.

Its equal opportunity policies apply to all and it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

‘Our anti-harassment policies are gender neutral,’ said head of Godrej India Culture Lab, Parmesh Shahani.

‘We also have equal benefits to same-sex partners of employees, fully paid three month adoption leave (which is also gender neutral) and a medical benefit scheme which includes the spouse/domestic partner, parents and/or children of an employee.’