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Diversity & Inclusion – Why is it our business?

So why should we make our workplace more inclusive? This is a question that I get asked quite often being a Talent Attraction professional and I try and answer this using SAP’s diversity commitment – “To harness the power of innovation, SAP invests in the development of its diverse employees. We aspire to leverage the qualities and appreciate the unique competencies that each person brings to the company.” Becoming a company that welcomes LGBTQIA+ talent requires more than just not discriminating against them – it’s recognizing the value that diversity brings. Organisations with Inclusive cultures are more likely to be Innovative and Agile, have higher employee engagement and also higher customer satisfaction.

 

So what’s the first step and where do we start? I took my first step by attending the LGBTQIA+ Inclusion session which was focused to create awareness on the LGBTQIA+ and giving a platform for an open discussion. This session made me aware of the inherent biases and homophobic ideas. As a Talent Attraction professional I am committed to eliminating any conscious or unconscious biases in the recruitment process and also give candidates the best hiring experience. This session helped me face my biases and showed ways to improve candidate experience while hiring from the LGBTQIA+ community. Some of my key takeaways from the session were simple things that can make a big impact  –

  • Recognize LGBTQIA+ – There are lots of letters to bear in mind and we might not come across every color of the rainbow flag, but understanding what they stand for, and recognizing their importance is the basic step that we took.
  • Sensitivity to discrimination – Understanding that gender, sexuality, physical ability, class and skin color are all factors that can hold people back and it is not always black and white.
  • Support Available – EAP helpline and Ally group available for support.
  • Communication – Understanding what’s offensive and challenge homophobic language everywhere. Use of gender neutral language can be helpful when we don’t know someone, for e.g. avoid asking a colleague if she has a boyfriend/husband, instead ask about her partner.

Others in attendance also shared their experience of the session by filling up a feedback survey. SAP Head of Talent Attraction, India and Technology Recruiting APJC,Raksha Agrawal wrote “We all have our notions and understanding of what does the term LGBTQIA+ stands for but there’s a lot to be known and understood. The session was an eye opener in various aspects. Unless we have a clear understanding, we cannot avoid bias and be inclusive. The training has helped me move a step forward in this journey.”

Manimoy Biswas, Talent Attraction Manager- India also shared his experience by writing “Great learning session and it is extremely important to be educated on this topic and to have an inclusive culture in the organization. I can only think of how difficult it would be for the employees who would be struggling because of these kind of unknown bias in the workplace. Would recommend every team to go through this awareness session on this topic”

My ability to “Embrace Differences” can contribute in making my organisation more diverse and inclusive and I am committed to making that difference by building on my understanding through this session.

 

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TA Team attending the LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Session

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