[This article was published by Accenture in its effort to implement key policies and strategies for creating a diverse and inclusive working ecosystem. It is re-published in association with The Quint as part of the #PrideAndProgress campaign.]
Being gay, out, and proud is still a tremendous feat in India. While the country has amended laws to pave way for a liberalised society, the dial needs to shift in the absorption of these policies. Within the corporate spaces, Parmesh Shahani, much to the surprise of industry stalwarts, beckoned these changes from the early 2000s with his book, Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)longing in Contemporary India.
But, Shahani, the Vice President at Godrej Industries Ltd, drove home the message of reshaping India’s office culture through his memoir, Queeristan. As Accenture notes in their article,
In Queeristan, Parmesh Shahani begins by sharing his life experiences towards becoming an advocate for LGBTQ inclusion. From having founded the Godrej Culture Lab, he now guides India’s leading companies on their inclusion journeys through Jugaad Resistance, a resourceful, solution-based opposition from within the establishment. The book also traces this history alongside the feminist movement, changes in the law, and explains the individual identities within the LGBTQIA+ community.
But why is LGBTQ+ inclusion so important today? The answer is quite simple.
Accenture explains that corporate entities must not observe D&I as a moral obligation or a representation formula. Citing Queeristan, Accenture highlights that consciously talking about Diversity and Inclusion (across different sections) makes an organization 45% more likely to increase its market share.
Yet, according to a 2021 study conducted by global HR Consulting firm Randstad India in association with Women’s Web, only 9% of surveyed organizations feel that “significant” efforts are made for LGBTQ+ inclusion in India Inc.
Why is there such a stark gap, and how can you endeavour to make your workplace more LGBTQ+ inclusive and queer-friendly? What is Jugaad resistance, and how can businesses implement a five-step guide to create an office culture that identifies and represents every employee across the spectrum?
Read this article and learn creative ways of making your organisation truly more equal and inclusive.