Gurugram Based NGO Launches Indias 1st Academic-Corporate Fellowship Program For Transgender People

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Gurugram Based NGO Launches India's 1st Academic-Corporate Fellowship Program For Transgender People

The program by 'Pernod Ricard India Foundation' will systemically enable transgender people from underserved communities across the country to craft their career paths in the corporate world.

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As concerns rise about workplace diversity in the last decade, businesses worldwide and India have boosted their efforts to improve work inclusion. Many companies are expanding the definition to include all genders, races, ethnicities, and abilities, from just hiring more women. While there has been some improvement with hiring LGBTQIA+ individuals, it is the youth from the transgender community who continue to face significant socio-economic and cultural barriers in their corporate journeys.

To solve this problem, Pernod Ricard India Foundation-a Gurugram based NGO, in partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and the Collective Good Foundation (CGF), has launched India's first Academic-Corporate Fellowship Program for the transgender youth. This program will systemically enable transgender people from underserved communities across the country to craft their career paths in the corporate world.

With inequitable access to education and skills, transgender individuals are often forced to opt for menial roles in society and continue to face barriers in their journey towards financial independence. In addition, with obstacles like the high bar on minimum education and experience, along with the lack of gender-neutral policies, systems and infrastructures, and less social acceptance, only a few transpersons ever make it to the managerial and executive positions in their corporate careers.

Adequate Training And Exposure

This fellowship program will provide adequate exposure and training to transform them to take on managerial and executive positions on the corporate ladder. Transpersons between 18-25 years can apply for the program as there is no higher education bar for the applicants, Pernod Ricard India Foundation said in a press release shared with The Logical Indian.

The candidates will be selected through an online procedure followed by a round of group discussions and personal interviews. The first batch of 20 people aims to start on July 1, 2022. Speaking about the initiative, Sashidhar Vempala, Head – CSR and Chief Sustainability Officer at Pernod Ricard India, said,

"Aligned to our global commitment to inclusion and diversity, Pernod Ricard India strives to transform communities by accelerating local development. Through this program, we want to harness the power of collaborative efforts to steer pathbreaking inclusion for underserved transpersons within our communities."

According to the press release, the one-year fellowship program is divided into two distinct phases. The first phase seeks to build a theoretical understanding of business subjects and workplace skills through six months of immersive classroom training and project work led by the faculty and mentors at TISS.

Emotional And Psycho-Social Support To Be Provided

It will be followed by six months of hands-on workplace immersion through internships at leading corporates and non-profits to provide multi-faceted exposure and experiential learning. Each person will be offered a total stipend of Rs 2,40,000 and Rs 96,000 for travel and accommodation during the year. Through both phases, applicants will be provided with constant emotional and psycho-social support besides career guidance from experienced LGBTQIA+ professionals, leaders from industry, corporates and non-profits.

After completing graduation, the fellows will be awarded certificates from TISS. This will provide them with solid credentials that will enable corporate inclusion. Further, the candidates will be assisted in charting out their future goals, and the program will attempt to facilitate corporate placements for interested fellows.

Also Read: Delhi Fire Services To Train Homemakers, Students With Fire Extinguishing Skills


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