The finance industry is at the forefront of this movement in the corporate sector. Traditionally perceived as a conservative and rooted in the past industry, the financial sector has transformed itself into a flag bearer of inclusivity, challenging stereotypes and advocating for the rights and welfare of the LGBTQIA++ community. Beyond mere rainbow branding, several finance companies in India are actively implementing progressive policies and initiatives within their organizations to foster LGBTQIA++ inclusion and promote a more inclusive society at large. By recognizing the significance of this movement, these companies are not only breaking barriers but also shaping a more accepting environment and embracing diverse talent pools.
This article aims to shed light on five finance companies in India that are leading the way in redefining the definition of inclusion. These companies have emerged as trailblazers on the transformative journey towards LGBTQIA++ inclusivity, setting new standards for others to follow. Through their unwavering commitment to diversity, these finance companies are not only creating a supportive workplace for LGBTQIA++ employees but are also actively driving positive change in society
Axis Bank has established itself as a pioneer in LGBTQIA++ inclusion by introducing the “ComeAsYouAre” charter some years back. This groundbreaking initiative built upon their previous achievements in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Axis Bank ensures that all employees, regardless of gender, sex, or marital status, can list their partners for mediclaim benefits. Moreover, employees are encouraged to dress in accordance with their gender expression. Axis Bank also allows customers to open joint accounts and add same-sex partners as nominees. Additionally, customers can choose the title ‘Mx’ in their savings or term deposit accounts, reflecting the bank’s commitment to inclusivity and respect.
A new-age pan-India lending company, Protium is dedicated to fostering inclusivity and demonstrating solidarity with the LGBTQIA++ community. Last year, they organized impactful speaker sessions featuring three speakers from the LGBTQIA++ community, raising awareness and sensitizing people for a more inclusive society. These sessions were live-streamed across social media platforms, reaching over 50+ diverse communities and attracting 1 lakh viewers. The interactive speaker sessions had a profound impact, with awareness within the organization increasing 70 times and employees being sensitized. Protium also made its Policy Against Sexual Harassment (POSH) gender-neutral, ensuring protection for employees regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. This pride month, Protium employees have taken a pledge to create an inclusive environment, reflecting the company’s commitment to diversity and equal opportunities. The campaign features inspiring stories of people from the community who have achieved remarkable milestones in their lives, a 30-day “Let’s Talk Pride” series to dispel stereotypes, and highlight LGBTQIA+ contributions. Initiatives like these promote understanding and create a welcoming space for all individuals.
By actively endorsing LGBTQIA++ inclusion and challenging taboos and stigma surrounding gender identity, Protium has set an example for other companies in the financial sector and beyond. Their progressive approach and inclusive policies contribute to a diverse and inclusive workspace, where every individual is accepted, valued, and respected.
Goldman Sachs has been a pioneer in fostering LGBTQIA++ inclusion within the financial sector for several decades. The company actively celebrates LGBT pride month and conducts events to sensitize employees to different sexual orientations and gender identities. They go beyond symbolic gestures by hoisting the LGBT pride flag and the transgender flag at their Bengaluru campus, demonstrating their commitment to inclusivity.
Goldman Sachs recognizes the importance of creating an environment where employees feel accepted, valued, and respected. They have implemented gender-inclusive policies, allowing for self-identification and providing internal networking opportunities. The company also offers employee benefits such as parental leave for all, regardless of gender or caregiver status. These initiatives aim to build an inclusive space where employees can bring their authentic selves.
Wells Fargo is at the forefront of driving LGBTQIA++ inclusion within the finance sector in India. The company has implemented a train-and-hire model in collaboration with PeriFerry, a non-profit organization dedicated to upskilling and providing career training for transgender individuals. This program not only provides valuable employment opportunities but also empowers transgender individuals by equipping them with the necessary skills and support to thrive in the workplace.
In addition to the train-and-hire model, Wells Fargo has established an active ‘Pride Employee Resource Network’ to create a supportive environment for LGBTQIA++ employees. This network offers opportunities for community connections, professional development, and safe spaces for conversations. Moreover, the company actively engages in awareness-raising initiatives outside the organization, fostering a more inclusive society at large.
JPMorgan has taken significant strides in fostering LGBTQIA++ inclusion within its organization. The company has established a dedicated PRIDE business resource group that comprises both allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This group plays a crucial role in driving initiatives and creating a supportive environment for LGBTQIA++ employees. As part of their commitment to promoting transgender inclusion, JPMorgan introduced a transgender internship program. This 20-week program, supported by the Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs, includes eight weeks of classroom training with a non-profit partner followed by a 12-week internship at JPMorgan Chase & Co in India corporate centers across various lines of businesses. The program not only provides valuable work experience but also offers mentorship and support to transgender individuals, helping them thrive in the professional sphere.
JPMorgan’s efforts extend beyond internal initiatives to foster understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQIA++ community. By providing a platform for open dialogue and discussions, the company creates spaces where employees can share their journeys and experiences, promoting empathy and combating biases. These comprehensive initiatives demonstrate JPMorgan’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace where all employees, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, feel respected, valued, and supported.
By embracing diversity and inclusivity, these companies are setting new standards for the industry and creating a more equitable and progressive society. Their efforts deserve recognition and appreciation as they continue to champion LGBTQIA++ rights and pave the way for a more inclusive future.