Mumbai, June 30th, 2023 – Pride Fest 2023, a collaborative effort by P&G India, Godrej Capital, Senco Gold & Diamond, and The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, aims to raise awareness about the challenges and concerns faced by the LGBTQ++ community, while also exploring potential solutions. As part of final leg of Pride Fest 2023 celebrations, , a special event called ‘Samvaad’ was organized to facilitate meaningful interactions between LGBTQ++ community representatives and the press.
The Samvaad press interaction took place at The Lalit, Mumbai, with seven esteemed guests in attendance. These individuals represented a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives, lending their voices to the ongoing dialogue about LGBTQ++ rights and inclusion.
Ankur Bhagat, Chief Supply Chain Officer at P&G India, expressed his support for Pride Fest 2023, stating, “At P&G, Equality and Inclusion (E&I) has always been the cornerstone of our culture; where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow, succeed, and thrive are available to everyone. In line with this, we focus on creating an equal and inclusive world both inside and outside P&G. Within the company, we bring this to life through our inclusive policies and culture which enable all our people to bring their true authentic selves to the workplace every day. Outside the Company, we continue to drive efforts in the communities we serve to advance inclusion for everyone. Educational institutes witness formative years when opinions are shaped, and ideologies are strengthened.
We believe that this is the right stage to sensitize students, as well as other stakeholders around them, aiming to create safe spaces to foster and equal and inclusive society. With this, we launched our initiative ShareThePride, to work with 50+ educational institutes, including undergraduate colleges and post-graduate universities across the country to work towards sensitizing students, faculty, and staff. Along with this, the company will also partner with institutes to evolve the ecosystem to incorporate positive markers of an inclusive space.”
Ruhie Pande, CHRO at Godrej Capital, highlighted the significance of this event, saying “Organizations are microcosms of the society we live in and therefore it is imperative that we embrace the full spectrum of human diversity. This is not just a good to do, but a strategic advantage for any organization as it fuels innovation, fosters creativity, and drives overall organizational success. The inclusion of a diverse workforce encourages dialogue, challenges stereotypes, and broadens our collective understanding of the world.
Creating a truly inclusive workplace environment means more than putting up rainbow flags and banners. It requires a genuine commitment to cultivating a culture of belonging, where everyone is empowered to bring their authentic selves to work without fear of prejudice or discrimination. We must actively challenge biases and dismantle systemic barriers that may hinder the progress of LGBTQ+ individuals. At Godrej Capital, we endeavor to provide LGBTQ+ employees with equal opportunities for professional growth and advancement. Internship programs, capability building initiatives, mentoring and employee resource groups are vital ways in which we seek to empower individuals to thrive in their careers while fostering a sense of community and support.
Organizations must also actively engage in external advocacy efforts to promote LGBTQ+ rights and equality beyond the workplace. By leveraging their influence and resources, companies can contribute to the broader societal progress and create a positive impact. Inclusion is not a one-time accomplishment; it is an ongoing commitment that requires continuous learning, reflection, and action. Let us stand together as champions of diversity, actively embracing and celebrating LGBTQ+ individuals, for it is in the richness of our differences that we truly thrive”
Senco Gold & Diamond, a key partner in this initiative, shared their perspective on the event. While a representative from Senco was unable to attend the Samvaad press interaction, they conveyed their support, stating, “We believe in the power of unity, equality, and acceptance. Pride Fest 2023 provides a platform to amplify these values and advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ++ community.” Senco Gold & Diamond, a key partner in this initiative, shared their perspective on the event. While a representative from Senco was unable to attend the Samvaad press interaction, they conveyed their support, stating, “We believe in the power of unity, equality, and acceptance. Pride Fest 2023 provides a platform to amplify these values and advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ++ community.”
Pride Fest 2023, with its diverse group of collaborators, aims to drive positive change and inspire a more inclusive society. Pride Fest 2023 celebrations culminated 0n 30th June. Community representatives who gathered at the Samvaad session urged everyone to continue focusing on LGBTQ++ for round the year & not just the month of June.
Community representatives unanimously shared their concerns about their challenges and how the non LGBTQ+ community members often treat them. The expectation of LGBTQ++ community has two parts to it (1) The reforms required at broader level to get the due to the community (2.) expectation of acceptance from the society.
Through Pride Fest 2023 and the Samvaad press interaction, the organizers aspire to reach a wider audience and encourage open conversations around LGBTQ++ rights and issues. By engaging with the press, they aim to raise awareness foster understanding, and ultimately create a more inclusive and accepting society.