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In its fifth year as the premier LGBTQI+ workplace inclusion conference in India, the 2021 Out & Equal India Forum will bring together hundreds of LGBTQI+ and ally professionals from Indian and multinational companies in partnership with our India Business Inclusion Council.  

We have transformed our annual conference into quarterly virtual engagements and publications, with each quarter covering a particular theme. Each quarter will include a 2-hour, interactive, virtual event featuring remarks from partner executives and the chance for attendees to learn and share best practices. Leading up to each event, Out & Equal will release resources to advance understanding of the particular theme.  

The theme that we will focus on during the third quarter of 2021 is The Future of Work. Forum participants will explore the ways in which younger generations are driving change in the workplace and what we can do together to create more inclusive environments for both the present and future workforce. The forum will take place in English with closed captioning available. 

India Forum Series: Quarter 3 – The Future of Work 

September 8, 2021, from 18:00-20:00 IST (8:30-10:30am EST)

Register here
6:02 pm IST Out & Equal Opening Deena Fidas, Managing Director | Chief Program and Partnerships Officer, Out & Equal (she/her) 
6:07 pm IST Welcome Remarks – Pride Circle Srini Ramaswamy, Co-Founder, Pride Circle (he/him)
6:10 pm IST Welcome Remarks – Accenture  Manisha Dubey, Accenture India Pride Sponsor, Accenture (she/her) 
6:15 pm IST Keynote Speakers  Medha Sandill, Customer Success Manager, HackerEarth (they/she)  
Mishkkaa Verma, Student of the Future Kid’s School, YouTuber, Podcaster, Short film maker, Ally, Author of equAlly (she/her)  
Aruna Desai, Co-Founder & Administrator, Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents (she/her)  
6:45 pm IST  Breakout Rooms   All participants 
7:50 pm IST Final Observations   

Medha Sandill – Customer Success Manager, HackerEarth (they/she) 

An engineering graduate, and a Master’s in Business from Singapore, Medha has a special love for Artificial Intelligence, but a deeper passion for working with real people. They strongly believe in the power of diversity and inclusion at the workplace. They are an avid gamer, and their hobbies include tennis, swimming, and football. When they aren’t working, they spend their time dreaming of a better world for everyone, and how they can do their bit to contribute. 

Mishkkaa Verma – Student of the Future Kid’s School, YouTuber, Podcaster, Short film maker, Ally, Author of equAlly (she/her) 

Mishkkaa Verma is a 15-year-old who lives in Hyderabad, Telangana. She is a Youtuber, Podcaster, Ally, Short film maker as well as one of the authors of the book, ‘equALLY’. Her youtube channel is called, ‘Mishkkaa-The Billi of Hollywood through which she aims to spread awareness among the Gen-Z on various sensitive topics such as- Safe and Unsafe touch, Bullying and many more. She learns Taekwondo and holds a red belt. In her free time, she enjoys singing, planting, sketching and listening to music. Her journey of allyship and becoming an aware citizen began when she was 10 years old with her YouTube channel and since then has been dedicated to make this world a safe and inclusive place for all. She has volunteered for [email protected] and also regularly volunteers for multiple other causes such as Live the Lakes, Goonj, etc. During the pandemic in 2020, she organized a fundraiser for stray dogs. She often speaks about her allyship at corporates and public events. 

Aruna Desai, Co-Founder & Administrator, Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents (she/her) 

Aruna Desai is a graduate from Bombay University & Head of HR & Admin in manufacturing Company in India. She is Co-founder of Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents. This group bridges the gap between parents of LGBTIQ children and strives to build a parallel structure of support system for them. She is a proud mother of a queer child and an ally of the community. She decided to be a part of parent’s meets and panel discussions when she realized that not all the parents accept their children the way they are. Since then she has counselled many parents and children. She has previously spoken at Salzburg-Nepal, ILGA Asia-Vietnam and 8th ILGA Asia conference in South Korea. Her advocacy is widely reported in the Indian media besides talks and in-person counselling. To further her cause, she co-produced a multi-award winning Indian film called ‘EVENING SHADOWS’ that focuses on a parent-child relationship and acceptance of sexuality. She is the recipient of three iconic awards from the community namely QUEEROES, PHILANTHROPIST and OUT AND LOUD PARENT OF THE YEAR. 

Recommended Reading:

  • equALLY: Stories by Friends of the Queer World: An anthology of powerful personal stories by individuals who have stood up and spoken for the LGBTQI+ community in India, including two of our India Forum speakers! Check it out on Amazon.com or Amazon.in
  • The intersections of mental health and LGBTIQ people in the Indian workplaceOut & Equal partnered with Pride Circle Foundation and Interweave Consulting to produce an important resource highlighting the intersection of mental health and LGBTQ identity in the Indian workplace.

If you are interested in partnering with us in future engagements, please reach out to: partnerships@outandequal.org  

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