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Embracing Diversity: Beyond Pride Month – A year-round commitment to supporting LGBTQIA+ communities

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Times Pride Fest 2023: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Workplace

June has been a busy month for most corporates with the celebration of Pride month across their office and social spaces. While the open support for the LGBTQ+ community is undeniably a step in the right direction, the questions to be asked is: are these actions sustainable beyond the month of June? Can organizations bring about an impact in society by walking the talk when it comes to genuine acceptance and inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community?

‘Rainbow capitalism’ while a welcome affair, warns of the fine line between allyship, and exploitation and corporates need to be careful of stepping on the wrong side of things. Using Pride Month as a marketing tool without genuinely understanding or addressing the underlying needs and issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community can be a disservice to the community.

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Internship programs, capability building initiatives, mentoring and employee resource groups – some ways to empower LGBTQ+ talent pool

It is important to be cognizant of the real issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face every day. Life experiences for them are rife with discrimination, harassment, and none to little opportunities for growth and these issues cannot be resolved through colorful marketing campaigns. Companies must take substantive action which requires systemic changes within their organizations. ‘Pride’ should be woven into the fabric of corporate culture, becoming an intrinsic and enduring commitment. True power lies in cultivating an environment where LGBTQ+ employees feel safe, valued, and empowered every day of the year.

At Godrej Capital, inclusion is the very fabric of our organizational culture. From the time of our inception, we have actively worked to ensure that marginalized communities including women, the LGBTQIA+ community and people with disabilities, religious minorities, receive the visibility and opportunities they truly deserve.

Organizations are after all a microcosm of the society we live in. Like the Godrej Group’s 125+ year legacy we believe in doing the right thing when it comes to the community and wider society, we live in. One of the best ways we do this is to actively take roles to people and communities who otherwise may not have access to mainstream opportunities. This contributes to actively building a representative population of LGBTQ+ individuals who can engage their skills, seek a better quality of life and thrive.

We recognize the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community and are committed to providing specialized policies and benefits tailored to their requirements. Our dedicated team offers confidential health risk assessments, ensuring that individuals from the community can access comprehensive care in a discrete, safe, and inclusive environment. Our counseling services are provided by qualified and trained professionals who possess expertise in addressing the specific challenges and issues faced by the community.

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Pride Event at Godrej Capital

Our gender affirmation policy demonstrates our unwavering commitment to supporting individuals through their journey by covering medical expenses related to gender-affirming surgeries and procedures. A strong gender-neutral anti-sexual harassment policy in place ensures that everyone feels protected and respected. Moreover, we proudly provide same-sex partnership benefits, recognizing and celebrating diverse forms of love and commitment.

Education and awareness have the power to foster diversity and inclusion. We have developed & regularly run sensitization programs which focus on providing sustained knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion, with a specific emphasis on LGBTQIA+ issues. Through these workshops, we aim to create a more inclusive organization by equipping individuals with the tools and insights needed to embrace diversity and ensure equal treatment for everyone.

To foster career aspirations and empower talented individuals, we have established an inclusive internship program called ‘BeYou’ which aims to act as a bridge between education and professional development, offering participants a chance to immerse themselves in a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Can organizations also go beyond and encompass the experiences of partners and customers by influencing them to embrace equity? Actively supporting small and medium businesses owned by community members is a good show of solidarity and encourages them in their entrepreneurial ventures. Organizations can also look at how to break the silence and be a trailblazer when it comes to creating offerings for same sex couples or individuals who don’t receive recognition from the government or other institutions.

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Sharing thoughts in a panel discussion – Ruhie Pande, Harish Iyer, Nisa Godrej at Godrej Capital

Godrej Capital’s commitment to inclusivity transcends the workplace, reaching far beyond our walls. We go the extra mile to promote equality in the broader world, taking proactive steps to make a difference externally. Recognizing the importance of providing equal and unbiased loan opportunities, we have introduced tailored home loans for same-sex partners. Through this initiative, we aim to empower individuals to build their lives on their own terms. In the backdrop of a world where same-sex marriages are not valid or recognized, this goes a long way in making inroads into providing dignity of life to the LGBTQ+ community.

As a leader, I firmly believe that organizations have a moral and social responsibility to foster an inclusive environment where every individual feels valued and respected. Merely proclaiming an allyship is not enough; true change requires tangible actions. It is through our actions that we can truly demonstrate our commitment to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Let’s go beyond Pride Month and embrace diversity every month, every day, and in every way.

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Disclaimer: Content Produced by Godrej Capital Ltd.

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