Taking Pride in Our Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start,” were the inspiring words of Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA. In companies, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is where openness begins. At Myntra, we take pride in ensuring that our workplace is one where employees have the confidence to express themselves and contribute meaningfully in their own unique ways. For us, diversity and inclusiveness bring with them the ability to foster innovation, creativity and empathy.
In light of 2020 Pride Month, we recently hosted a session on inclusion at workplaces with some of the most renowned members of the LGBTQ+ community. The session, moderated by Harish Narayanan, Head of Marketing and an ally of the community at Myntra, highlighted the importance of inclusion and creating awareness and dialogue in organizations about the LGBTQ+ community. To inspire and spread a message of hope among the 100+ attendees of the virtual conference was Ramkrishna Sinha, Alex Mathew aka Maya, Kusuma Krishna, our key speakers, who shared their journey and experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The expression “live your truth” is often something most LGBTQ+ people find difficult relate to, owing to their fears of being excluded and ostracized. Ram, who confessed that most of his time and energy would be spent in pretending to be someone he is not, believes that workplaces are a reflection of our society. The change should begin within the organization and the leadership should ensure that conversations on inclusion take place in a way that co-workers from the LGBTQ+ community feel comfortable being themselves. “Confessing about your sexuality is always difficult because of the default assumption that you’re supposed to be a heterosexual. And that becomes a challenge because when you walk into a workplace, no one is talking about LGBTQ+ inclusion and it feels like a taboo topic,” says Ram.
Maya, who has also faced challenges in finding a place for herself as a drag queen stresses on the importance of having an open mind, initiating dialogue, and hearing their side of the story. “The conversation dies the moment you refuse to give a chance to people from the community to talk,” says Maya. Kusuma, who had a difficult time coming out to the world, says, “The norm should be such that we don’t have to come out and everybody should accept us for who we are.” This is something every organization should strive for.
Strengthening the D&I culture
We are committed to eliminating ignorance and building an environment that fosters open conversations, raises awareness, and strengthens empathy towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Policies play an important role in an organization that is an ally of the LGBTQ+ movement. Over the years, we have strengthened our core policies to encourage a more diverse and inclusive environment. Our insurance policy, for instance, includes coverage for gender reassignment surgery, same-sex partners, and more.
Ram and Kusuma are championing the cause of being open about one’s true self and accepting one’s sexuality at the workplace, while Maya stresses on the importance of initiating dialogues and starting conversations. This is imperative for better individual wellness and to stay focused at the workplace, without having to worry about getting judged. We understand the dynamics at play when it comes to the well-being of a person and provides a comprehensive wellness policy that encourages all employees to bring their entire authentic selves to work.
“As a company that is forward-thinking and different, celebrating one’s orientation is something that happens naturally and we are proud of it,” says Harish. The pride speaker session is yet another way of fostering a work environment that is accepting of everyone as unique individuals with unique talents. As Harish says in the session, “the more diverse the organization, the stronger it is.”
We celebrated the Myntra month of Pride using various channels of communication to sensitize our employees, encourage a more open dialogue and to build allyship.