‘Difference’ is the essence of our being; it makes us who we are. Our uniqueness is inherently what differentiates us from others. We create some differences by actively working on them, like learning a new skill, while others are like the default setting, we are born with. Sexual orientation & gender identity are the aspects of our lives that we realise as we grow up and not something we work on. Then on, we work to be comfortable in our skin, it takes effort to come to terms with, for the environment around us is still homophobic/transphobic.
We grew up being taunted, bullied, called names, our bodies were beaten, and our esteem crushed for being different. We bore all that to get that education, learn that skill, find that job, and now we deserve an equal opportunity at the workplace.
A workplace where we are judged for the skill set we bring, for the work we do and not who we love or how we identify. And it is the onus of the organisation to remove systemic barriers to enable all employees to perform their best. Affirmative action is necessary when the default inaction leads to bias & discrimination. It’s time for companies to meet the LGBTI talent pool & engage, learn about us, the challenges at the workplace and get working to fix them.
Inclusion takes action, reaching out to marginalised, underrepresented communities and making an attempt to include, for equity.
We invite all the inclusive organisations to come and hire at RISE: Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity, India’s First LGBTI Job Fair to be held on 12th July at the Lalit Ashok, Bangalore. Take a step to consciously welcome & include. While you are at it, hire not just from the highly skilled talent pool but also open doors to those who have lived on the margins of society. Open doors to the traditionally outcast transgender community. They have been kicked out of homes, bullied in school, denied admission to college. They may not have the education but have the skill set, they may not be polished, but they are ambitious & hardworking.
Let’s come together and make a collective impact.