In a country that is becoming increasingly inhospitable to minorities of all sorts, this creature was happy to see a campaign in India that sought to promote diversity and inclusion at the workplace. And, this didn't come from some forward-thinking technology company or woke agency.
Instead, it came from Tata Steel, a 115-year old company that is part of India's salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group. Long recognised for being a trend setter for its people practices (eight-hour workdays, maternity leave, gratuity upon retirement, five-day work week), this time the steel maker moves its diversity and inclusion agenda even further forward.
Tata Steel has hired 97 transgender people in various roles. In 2019, the company also introduced a policy for LGBTQIA+ employees, urging them to enlist their partners with the company to enable them to avail all benefits. Following up on the intent, this creature commends the new campaign from Tata Pravesh, Tata Steel's brand of steel doors and windows, by Wunderman Thompson Kolkata to try to make a historically male-centric workplace more inclusive.
The film, Raahi, tells the story of an LGBTQIA+ individual, shunned by society but accepted by colleagues. The film signs off with the strong social message, ‘Acceptance can open doors’, and encourages viewers to open their minds and "allow the winds of change to air out our prejudices."
Rather than a shrill campaign advertising its strong inclusion at the workplace, this creature liked a sober film that focused on promoting an individual's rise, despite heavily stacked odds. In a country where transgender folk are routinely attacked, even by the police, and seen as a source of ill luck, it is heartening to see a storied Indian company take the lead in making workplaces more safe and inclusive. Hopefully more timid corporates follow suit.
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