India Inc goes all out to tackle queerphobia

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MUMBAI: Policies around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are clearly going beyond tokenism. From creating awareness to fight queerphobia to companies offering health insurance covers to same-sex partners, to sensitising all employees - the Pride month this year is witnessing a greater involvement of India Inc towards creating work cultures that celebrate individual diversity.
HealthySure said it has started rolling out health insurance cover to LGBTQ+ partners under their group health insurance plans. Razorpay has revised its health insurance policy to include live-in partners, same-gender partners, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+, in addition to providing other benefits such as gender reassignment surgery and infertility treatment. PayU, too, has revamped its insurance policy to cover same-sex partners, hormone therapy & gender affirmation surgery.

Nancy Hauge, chief people experience officer at Automation Anywhere, said, "Today, creating a safe, open and inclusive environment is a business priority."
A new function called 'Technology Diverse Segments, Representation & Inclusion' has specifically been created in Wells Fargo to put a leadership lens on DEI efforts within technology. Sajid Ahmed, executive VP, head of technology, Wells Fargo India & Philippines, said a reverse mentorship programme was launched in a limited fashion at the firm. This was across India & Philippines, where employees who have come out act as mentors and share their lived experiences with senior leaders who sign up to be mentored.
Ruchi Bhalla, country head - India delivery centres and VP, HR (Asia-Pacific) at Pitney Bowes, said educating employees about the LGBTQ+ community to create awareness about our own biases is the first step. "Queerphobia is not a new phenomenon or unique to India, it exists everywhere and is many times unconscious because of lack of information and conditioning. As organisations, it is our job to give all our employees - regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, caste, religion - an inclusive, bias-free, and safe work environment that allows them to be themselves," said Bhalla.
Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India, said, "We do realise that discrimination is not always a physical or verbal attack. It can take many forms. Therefore, we have one of the largest global employee networks called Pride@SAP." A culture shift, Gangadharan said, is often tough to bring about. SAP Labs has been working to curate a sensitisation curriculum for all its entities.
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