Biz case: India Inc gets diversified with more LGBTQ workforce

Biz case: India Inc gets diversified with more LGBTQ workforce

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Mumbai: Members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) participate in Queer Pride Parade in Mumbai on Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) Following in the footsteps of MNCs, Indian Corporate Houses are increasingly finding a "Business Case" to hire a more diversified and inclusive workforce, especially from the LGBTQ talent pool.
Subsequently, the embrace of a diversified workforce by India Inc has given rise to the trend of niche job fairs along with increase in numbers of employment consultancy firms for LGBTQs.
The strategy, industry insiders say has two-fold benefits for corporate houses, as it appeals to the "youth" and aid companies in better understanding the needs of this niche but growing market segment.
Additionally, comes the tag of 'equal opportunity' provider.
"Having a well diversified and inclusive workforce provides plenty of opportunity for corporates to position themselves as 'global' and having a 'forward looking' approach in their businesses," Keshav Suri, Executive Director, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, told IANS.
"Being inclusive is not just great for brand perception and brand imaging, it helps build internal employee-employer image and trust."
At present, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group is the largest employer of LGBTQs in the hospitality space.
Besides promoting inclusiveness, the trend also strengthens the 'Pink Rupee' economy which translates into services, products or economic activity generated by and for the LGBTQ community.
A 2014- World Bank report 'The Economic Cost of Homophobia and the exclusion of LGBT people: A case of India' pointed out an estimated cost of homophobia, (although not all costs can be quantified) ranges between 0.1-1.7 per cent of the GDP.
"Organisations, today are aware of the power of 'Pink' economy and there are business models in the market designed that cater to the community. Thus having an inclusive workforce acts as another step in that direction," Suri said.
On last Saturday, over 15 corporates including the Lalit Group along with Flipkart, Societe Generale, Optum, Thoughtworks, JLL and StayUncle participated in the career fair for job aspirants, who identify themselves as 'LGBTQ+'.
According to Naren Krishna, Founder and CEO of Equiv.in and Stockroom.io: "Apart from the hiring purposes, these job fairs aid companies in better understanding the needs of this segment of the society."
"As Indian companies expand internationally, they would require resource base in understanding these trends and thus many corporates have started showing interest in having a more diversified workforce."
Over 500 job aspirants of the LGBTQ community had participated in a day long eventA"Q-rious" organised by Equiv.in on November 23. The aby-invite' only event is meant for corporations that seek to broaden their diversity and inclusion mandate, to understand the perspectives of the LGBTQ community.
"Post the section 377, there has definitely been an increase in the career initiatives for LGBTQ community. That being said a lot of companies, especially Indian companies are still trying to solve the sensitisation issue than directly recruiting. The number of such initiatives are bound to increase in the years to come," Krishna said.
"Job seekers today see diversity and inclusiveness of the company as one of key metrics before joining an organisation."
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)
--IANS
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