Over 1000 individuals seek openings at Delhi’s first-ever LGBTI job fair: RISE

New Delhi: Asia’s largest LGBTI job fair – RISE (Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity) – saw 1000 applicants line up to seek a ‘safe’ and ‘inclusive’ workplace where they can build a career from. Into its second chapter after a successful outing in July 2019 in Bangalore, RISE, a flagship of Pride Circle, witnessed a doubling of job applications indicating a growing need among the LGBTI for a place of work where they can bring their whole self.

Jobs were offered by 20 companies which include Accenture, KPMG, The Lalit Hospitality Group, Uber and HSBC. FICCI joined RISE as an industry partner. RISE provided a platform to the LGBTI and allies to engage in a thought-provoking conference, a marketplace for the LGBTI owned businesses and skill-building workshops. With over 46 eminent national and international speakers, the conference enlightened the attendees on diversity & inclusion, equity at workplaces, thought-leadership, role-modelling, tips for strengthening business, among others. Some of the speakers included veteran industry experts such as Tim E, EVP & Managing Counsel, International American Express; Olfert De Wit, COO, HSBC Singapore; Dilip Shenoy, Secretary General of FICCI; Leanne Macmillan, Director, Global Programmes, Stonewall and Tony Tenicela, Global Leader Marketplace Diversity & Workforce Engagement Services, IBM.

Thanking the community and allies for showing tremendous support, Srini Ramaswamy, Chief Evangelist and Co-founder, Pride Circle stated, “We are overwhelmed by the support of the community and allies, our partners, hiring companies and all the attendees. Taking a step closer towards realising the civil rights of the community, RISE has risen as the ‘voice’ of the LGBTI who want social equity through affirmative actions.”

Addressing the participants at the RISE, Ramakrishna Sinha, Co-Founder, Pride Circle said, “Affirmative action by hiring organisations is evidence that we are moving towards the right direction to foster inclusion at workplaces. The overwhelming response at RISE Delhi is highly promising and presents collective voice of the community and allies to set the tone to build more inclusive India.”

During the event, Pride Circle in collaboration with Keshav Suri Foundation and Stonewall, a UK based LGBTI rights charity, introduced a Workplace Equality Index (WEI) for India. WEI is a definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace. The first report of the WEI will be published by the end of this year.

Speaking about the significance of the index, Leanne Macmillan, Director, Global Programmes of Stonewall said, “Stonewall stands in solidarity with Pride Circle and the Keshav Suri Foundation as we meet in Delhi at the RISE workplace conference. For over 30 years Stonewall has worked to advance the rights of and respect for LGBTI people. In our work with both civil society and employers globally we see how LGBTI people are excluded and discriminated against simply because of who they are!

We applaud the efforts of those from across civil society and the business community in India who stand ready at the forefront to tackle the many challenges LGBTI communities face to create a society where LGBTI people are accepted without exception”

The conference gave an opportunity to everyone present to learn from the experts on various topics through breakout session and masterclasses which included – financial literacy for the existing and interested LGBTI entrepreneurs, resume building, interview skills, among others.

The Delhi edition of RISE saw over 1500 attendees which included changemakers, businesses, LGBTI and allies, experts, HR professionals and students. Presenting their strong thoughts on the acceptance towards long-fetched ignored community, over 15 community groups came in full support of the community at the RISE. The RISE’s marketplace saw 16 micro, small and medium-sized LGBTI owned businesses displaying their products and services in the areas of bakery, merchandise, travel & tourism. The first edition of RISE was held in July 2019 in Bengaluru which turned out to be a huge success with over 900 attendees and 43 job offers for the LGBTI people.

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