Most urban Indian professionals say employers don’t bother about sexual preferences

In support.
In support.
Image: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
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LGBTQ professionals in India have reasons to celebrate as they are finding increasing acceptance at workplaces.

About 67% of respondents to a survey by TimesJobs, an online job search portal, said their employers are not bothered about employees sexual orientation. An almost equal number acknowledged being comfortable about opening up on this matter at the workplace.

The survey was undertaken to gauge how friendly Indian workplaces are for LGBTQ  (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people.

The findings are based on email responses received from 860 professionals in the age-group of 25-50 years, across different industry verticals. The survey was conducted between May 01 and May 21, 2019, in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Surat, and Chandigarh, among other cities.

“Most progressive organisations treat diversity and inclusion as a focussed actionable agenda. It’s heartening to see that these dedicated efforts are resulting in a positive impact on the workforce,” said Sanjay Goyal, business head at TimesJobs.

However, challenges remain.

Up to 30% of the respondents to the survey were aware of their colleagues being discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation, religious affinities, and ethnic background.

Overall, Indians perceive media and entertainment, BPOs, and IT to be the most LGBTQ-friendly industries.

In September 2018, India’s supreme court struck down the draconian section 377 of the Indian penal code that criminalised homosexual activity. Yet, same-sex marriages remain illegal.

The TimesJobs findings come at a time when Dutee Chand, the first Indian sportswoman to qualify for the 100-metre sprint at the Olympics, publicly acknowledged being gay. She has become India’s first athlete to open up about her sexuality.

On May 19, the Asian Games medallist and national record holder acknowledged being in a relationship with a woman from her village since 2017. She hails from Chaka Gopalpur, near Bhubaneswar, capital of the eastern state of Odisha.