Engaging the LGBT Employees at Workplace in India – Diversity

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According to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, sexual activities which are against the order of nature fall under criminal offence including homosexual acts too. In December 2013, the Supreme Court of India declared that this matter of section 377 out of judiciary system and therefore should be under the discretion of any decision passed in Indian Parliament. Recently towards the end of 2015, the Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Mr.Shashi Tharoor promoted the bill in Lok Sabha for gay sex, but was unsuccessful in getting it passed and de-criminalizing the act of homosexuality.

In spite of the current status of section 377 i.e Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT), there are major corporate giants in India who has been openly promoting LGBT rights at workplace and have been positively included it in their diversity policy. Some of these eminent players are Godrej, Google, Genpact, Goldman Sachs, Coca Cola, Intuit, ThoughtWorks, Microsoft, Accenture, IBM etc.

Godrej – Runs a series of workshops with an agenda of sensitizing the on LGBTs for their employees across functions and teams. Various plays, film screenings, talks are hosted to encourage more openness towards the LGBT employees. In fact actively Godrej sponsored KASHISH – the Mumbai International LGBT Film Festival in 2014. Not only this, the organisation proudly hosted the “MINGLE” – the Indian LGBT Youth Leadership Summit at March 2015. All official forms of Godrej have “Others” for selecting the gender as an option for LGBT employees. Not only this, the organisation offers equal medical, hospitalization expense, Leave travel and transfer allowance towards LGBT employees as provided to any employee. Employee benefits such as maternity/paternity or adoption leave etc are provided to the employee and their dependents irrespective of gender.

Infosys – An employee resource group has been created called “Infosys Gays Lesbians and You” (IGLU) which brings together LGBT staffs from various functions and have discussions on the various policy changes which can support the LGBT employees at workplace. Moreover, various theatre workshops, online chat sessions are conducted for awareness and sensitizing fostering and encouraging the overall LGBT issue at workplace.

Genpact – The LGBT community has a safe and hostile environment at Genpact which aggressively promotes and supports in their working policy. In fact it has been seen that Genpact usually participates in LGBT fairs such as the recent one LGBT career fair in London. This is primarily to build a diverse pool of talent in the organsiation.

ThoughtWorks:  Continuous drives among the employees are done at workplace to create and spread the awareness through short film screenings to drive awareness about the issues and the significance of accepting the perspective around LGBT rights.

Intuit – The Bangalore based IT organisation which has been voted as one of the best places to work in India is leading diversity agenda with inclusion of LGBT at workplace.

Google – In India, Google runs a voluntary employee group called Gayglers who promotes, creates awareness about LGBT employees at workplace

Goldman Sachs encourages LGBT employees to meet the organization’s senior members and discuss about setting up the best practices leading to career development, retention of LGBT employees.

Accenture – It has a Meritocracy Policy which has reference to various sexual orientations which is being communicated to employee’s right from the time of Induction, training on diversity etc. Accenture has a Global LGBT network which brings all LGBT employee together for networking, information sharing and mentoring.

In fact recently The NHRD Chapter of Mumbai had a dedicated session on LGBT diversity at workplace in its HR leadership conference at the Mahindra Management Development Centre in Nashik because today’s workforce prefers to work in companies which supports and celebrates with all employees despite of their sexual orientation

Image Credit: Image Source

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