The Indian corporate scene is constantly changing. Today, companies have become mindful of their employees and are making efforts to bring in a sense of inclusion and diversity.
As the companies slowly adapt to the new norms, employers today are more sensitive, careful, and considerate of their employees’ preferences than they were a decade ago.
With this gradual change, the companies are slowly, but actively taking initiatives towards supporting and celebrating employees from the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and people of other genders and sexualities) community.
Initiatives and programs that promote corporate lgbtq+ inclusion in the workplace are a must in the modern world and some companies have already taken steps in this direction.
In this blog, we discuss 10 LGBTQ friendly companies in India that have introduced some thoughtful and necessary initiatives towards making people of all genders and sexualities feel included.
1. Tata Steel
Tata Steel is one of the most employee-friendly companies that has time and again introduced policies to make their employees’ lives better. It is not a surprise that they are one of the top allies of the LGBTQ community amongst other Indian companies.
In 2020, Tata Steel was recognized as the Top Employer for LGBT+ inclusion by IWEI (India Workplace Equality Index)
The company recognizes the need for equal rights and inclusion of all in the workplace and has implemented several HR policies to ensure the same.
The LGBTQ employees of Tata Steels can enjoy perks & benefits like:
- Mediclaim insurance covers the employees’ partner, irrespective of their gender and sexuality
- Leave for new parents
- D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) program that ensures equal opportunity hiring for all
Atrayee S Sanyal, Vice President (Designate), Human Resource Management, Tata Steel, said:
At Tata Steel, we believe a diverse and inclusive environment enables employees to express themselves openly thereby adding to the perspectives and collective wisdom of the organization. In our experience, workplace diversity not only attracts the best talent, widens the talent pool but also adds to the organizational culture and business results.
Browse Tata Steel Jobs here.
Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the top corporate allies of the LGBTQ community. It was the first company to include same-sex partners in medical benefits and offer surrogacy leaves and adoption leaves.
The company has also established a Rainbow network, a safe space for its LGBTQ employees where they can seek answers and guidance.
About 200 people are associated with the network, all of whom belong to the LGBTQ community or are their supporters.
The company is making constant efforts to sensitize and inform people about the LGBTQ community and the challenges they face.
The chair of RBS India Rainbow Network, Srikanth Suvvaru said that
The bank initiated inclusivity policies because the management wanted it to be a place where people could bring their true selves to work.
He further explained,
We worked on policies that would bring in inclusivity for all our employees, showed public support by participating in pride parades, and educated and sensitized people on what it means to belong to the LGBTQ+ community.
Browse RBS Jobs here.
Another venture of Tata that made it to the list of LGBTQ friendly companies in India is Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
With the idea of building a comfortable and inclusive work environment for their LGBTQ employees, TCS was the first Tata company to align terms to benefit all their employees, irrespective of their gender and sexuality.
In 2019, the company redefined the term spouse as partners, making same-sex partners entitled to all the benefits and health insurance policies, which was not the case earlier.
Another great initiative by TCS is the provision of financial aid for gender reassignment. The company offers to cover up to 50% of the cost incurred (maximum capping of 2 lacs)
Browse TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) Jobs here.
Razorpay is India’s first fintech company to offer health insurance to its employees’ partners, irrespective of their orientation.
With the changed terms, the health insurance covers same-sex partners, and live-in partners and accommodates benefits like gender reassignment procedures, infertility treatments, etc.
The revamped health policy is a revolutionary first step by the company towards creating an all-inclusive, diverse and supportive environment for its employees.
Browse Razorpay Jobs here.
Accenture is one of the top LGBTQ friendly Indian companies, focused on creating a comfortable and inclusive environment for all its employees.
To enhance the engagement of its LGBTQ employees, the company sponsors a global event- Pride at Accenture to offer guidance and support for its transgender employees along with an LGBTQ+ Ally Program, where employees get a safe space to raise awareness, sensitize and educate the workforce.
With the help of these events, the company aims to bring the LGBTQ people and their allies closer, and create an open platform to seek guidance, networking, and mentoring.
Also, it reduces any scope for discrimination against gender identity and sexual preferences.
Browse Accenture Jobs here.
Tech Mahindra is another LGBTQ friendly Indian company that has focused its efforts on making the work environment comfortable and discrimination-free for its employees of varied orientations.
Some of the company initiatives that make it a great place to work for LGBTQ workers are:
- Adoption leave for LGBTQ parents and up to 12 weeks of leave for single parent
- Health insurance benefits extended to same-sex partners
- Flexible working hours and work from home availability for new parents.
- Kaleidoscope is an initiative for LGBTQ employees that gives them an open platform to reach out to a larger audience and educate and bring awareness.
Browse Tech Mahindra Jobs here.
As Indian companies still try to find unique ways to make their LGBTQ employees feel included, one company is leaving no stone unturned to show support and raise awareness.
One of the Indian companies to be named top employers for LGBTQ people as per the work equality index in 2020, Hindustan Unilever Limited is making continuous efforts to establish a sense of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
Some efforts made by HUL to support LGBTQ employees are:
- Workshops and sessions to educate people about the LGBTQ community
- Gender-inclusive restrooms
- Provision of all spousal benefits to same-sex partners
- Gender transition support
- Conscious hiring efforts from the LGBTQ talent pool
Browse Hindustan Unilever Limited Jobs here.
One of the early supporters of the LGBTQ, Microsoft has been an ally of the community ever since the early 90s.
In fact, in 1993, Microsoft was the first fortune 500 company that provided equal benefits to same-sex partners. The company also made conscious efforts to raise awareness about discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community and tried to educate its employees through its policies.
Microsoft has shown massive support towards the community and continues to do so today.
In addition to creating a safe and discrimination-free environment for its LGBTQ employees, the company also makes donations to charities and trusts to support the community.
Browse Microsoft Jobs here.
9. Axis Bank
Axis Bank is the first bank that took the initiative to establish seamless inclusion of its LGBTQ employees.
Like other corporates in this list, Axis bank has extended all health benefits to partners, irrespective of their gender identity. The company also encourages its employees to dress as per their gender identity and expression.
Axis Bank also offers its LGBTQ employees the option to use the restrooms as per their gender identity, with all-gender restrooms in large offices.
One of the unique provisions by the bank for the LGBTQ community is their unique leave policy.
The company has replaced maternity leaves with birthing parent leaves. With this change in policy, the employees who are birthing a child can enjoy these leaves, irrespective of their gender identity.
Similarly, the Paternity leave is now Leaves for partners of the birthing parent, allowing the new parent of any gender to utilize these leaves and ease into the transition of parenthood.
Browse Axis Bank Jobs here.
One of the most LGBTQ friendly Indian companies, Capgemini stands out with its inclusion and diversity program.
Here are some initiatives and policies that the company introduced to stand out as an LGBTQ ally:
- Extended support for gender reassignment surgery
- All-gender washrooms at offices
- Medical insurance that covers employees’ partners, irrespective of their gender
- Careful monitoring and regulation of HR policies and inclusive practices like using gender-neutral words and pronouns
- Awareness about gender inclusion through internal podcasts
Browse Capgemini Jobs here.
Many companies have come forward and proposed initiatives that support the LGBTQ community, others are still catching up.
While most companies practice inclusivity and focus on creating a diverse, discrimination-free environment, some are yet to come forth with concrete policies and noticeable changes.
Rest assured, with the efforts and initiatives of significant corporates and employees, we can hope to see several more LGBTQ friendly companies in India soon.