India’s southern city of Bengaluru will host the country’s first LGBTI job fair next month.
Organizers, Pride Circle, hope 50 companies offering jobs across IT, admin and housekeeping will attend the job fair.
Although India decriminalized gay sex in a landmark court decision last year, LGBTI people still face discrimination in all aspects of life.
Srini Ramaswamy, Co-founder of Pride Circle, told The Hindu the fair was launched as companies had done little to welcome LGBTI talent following the ruling.
‘Companies came out with logos in support, and there were some good steps where a few from the trans community were hired for front desk and admin jobs’ he explained.
‘But there was no effort to create a hiring process. We want to create an appetite for hiring members of the community and ensuring a conducive work environment for them.’
He also told the newspaper they decided to launch in Bengaluru, also known as Bangalore, because of its reputation as an open city.
The program includes a day-long conference with renowned speakers and booths by 20 queer-owned businesses.
Ramaswamy is also working on a database of LGBTI talent.
The event will take place on July 12 at Hotel Lalit Ashok. Job seekers do not have to pay to attend but must register prior to the event.
Society slow to act
India’s Supreme Court in September last year ruled the country’s anti-gay law was unconstitutional.
Section 377 of India’s colonial-era Penal Code punished gay sex with up to 10 years in prison. But, the Supreme Court said it violated rights to privacy.
Indians, therefore, celebrated the decriminalization of an estimated 4.5 million LGBTI people.
But, LGBTI activists and leaders warned it would take time for society and businesses to accept homosexuality.
A local firm, Intuit India, recently promised to extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples. It also vowed to fund gender affirmation surgery.
Recently, both Uber and Netflix in India launched LBGTI-friendly campaigns.
Uber India launched a campaign for a rainbow heart emoji. The transportation network company also changed its route map rainbow.
Netflix India, meanwhile, marked Valentine’s Day this year with an adorable romance between two young men
The short film, directed by Reema Sengupta, shows two young men fall in love in an Indian city.
But, Reuters reported in February that while large corporations like Uber were making efforts to become more LGBT-inclusive, smaller firms did not see a need for diversity.