Pride Month Q&A: Tata Consultancy Services UK
Certified UK Top Employer Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 50 years. We caught up with Anshoo Kapoor, Head – Recruitment and Ieva Jankelaityte, Head – D&I at TCS UK to discover how they create a culture of Inclusion for their LGBT+ employees, how they plan to mark Pride Month, and what’s coming up next in DEI.
How does TCS UK support and create a culture of Inclusion for the LGBT+ community in the workplace?
At TCS, we recognise that a diverse and inclusive workforce is necessary to drive innovation, foster creativity, and guide business strategies. We believe in creating an open, supporting and inclusive environment for all our employees that allows and encourages each employee to being their authentic self to work. “Respect for individual”; one of our core TCS values encourages us to build a culture of inclusion, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Our core belief revolves around the pedagogy that equal opportunities embraced with dignity and respect for all is what makes us a true, globally, diverse organisation.
LGBTQ+ inclusion at TCS is of prime importance. We are committed to fostering an environment in which people feel respected, valued, involved, and facilitate an environment that ensures participation of all employees from the LGBTQ+ community. Equal opportunities balanced with our motto of “Inclusion without Exception”, helps engage our LGBTQ+ community towards their professional and personal development.
Our inclusion priorities include:
- Ensuring community members are treated with respect and dignity, coupled with equal opportunities which enable their growth.
- Maintain a professional business environment and prohibit any kind of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
- Provide systems, policies and practices to enable associates from the LGBTQ+ community to thrive.
- Provide an accessible, psychologically safe, inclusive and healthy workplace.
- Enable a procedure for reporting and handling instances of bullying/harassment; provide a mechanism for handling complaints/grievances.
We have a global online community for LGBTQ & Allies and launched a QOLORs LGBTQ+ network in UK&I in February 2018. In June 2019, we also participated in London PRIDE making a public commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion. Furthermore, we continuously do campaigns and training programmes on topics such as Mental Health and Well-Being, ‘Be Inspired’ sessions with role models from LGBTQ+ community, Diversity Libraries to highlight the stories of LGBTQ+ community as well as having an open-mic sessions for the community members to share with each other relevant ideas, experiences and get the support needed.
How do you plan to mark PRIDE month at TCS?
We dedicate the month of June to celebrate PRIDE to acknowledge and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their journey so far. A simple yet engaging framework is created each year that focuses on LGBTQ+ inclusion from various angles.
- Creating awareness. We recognise, that we need to raise awareness on various LGBTQ+ topics within our organisation in order to create the environment of inclusion where everyone can thrive. We focus on LGBTQ+ education & sensitisation sessions for the wider employee population as well as make sure that we provide various forums for people to learn and share. Besides the education and sensitisation sessions, we are having panel discussions with the leaders, role models. We also have experts coming in to talk on specific topics within LGBTQ+ (such as gender identity vs sexual orientation etc.).
- Highlighting the stories. “Diversity Library”, inspired by the Human Library, is a social learning platform; where associates from diverse backgrounds act as ‘books’ that readers wish to ‘read’. These ‘books’ are actually an expression of life experiences and personal stories of LGBTQ+ community members and allies that inspire others. These sessions have proven in the past to be very inspirational and for some – even lifechanging, as participants get a space where they can relate to some of our speakers or get inspired by their resilience and kindness. In addition to that, we are holding the sessions “Love is Love” as well as “Born this Way” – ensuring a space where our employees can share their stories.
- Supporting parents. Parenting is not always easy. Some parents might face challenges as their kids come out being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. For that, we provide sessions for parents to get inspired as well as to learn how to support their kids during such events.
- Getting connected. It is important for our LGBTQ+ & Ally community to get connected and discuss various topics. This month, the discussion will be on “What PRIDE means to me”, where our LGBTQ+ & Ally community members will be encouraged to share what PRIDE means to them personally. Moreover, we are holding sessions on mental health for our community members as employee wellbeing is one of our organisational priorities.
- Having fun. At TCS, we do not forget to have fun while we are making an impact. We have planned Drag aerobics, LGBTQ+ TV shows revision and discussions, family engagements, such as Chalk the Walk, where kids are encouraged to draw with chalk on pavements in celebration of PRIDE, parents take pictures of their kid’s art and submit that to us for a competition.
What’s next for DEI at TCS?
TCS aims to maintain a workplace that embraces diversity and provides an environment of respect, trust, collaboration and cooperation for all employees The Culture and Diversity function at TCS, is constantly evolving and growing. We are driven by our motto “Inclusion without Exception” and are working towards the same by creating a cultural change. This involves addressing unconscious biases and creating an environment of inclusion where everyone feels that they belong. Our focus for the future is to keep supporting our employees with more effort towards becoming both Champions and Allies in the DEI journey.
We strive for an environment that offers our employees constant learning. With that in mind, our focus is:
- Representation. Ensuring that all diversity identity segments are represented all across the organisation.
- Enablement. Creating systems which provide an equitable workplace for all diversity identity segments (including policy, infrastructure, governance etc.).
- Engagement. Connecting with and creating networks of diverse communities so that they may feel valued and heard within the ecosystem.
- Ecosystem. Creating a workplace environment where employees can interact with each other in a supportive and bias free manner.
- Development. Building skills among diversity identity segments for personal and professional growth.