On December 12, 2018, Out & Equal hosted a webinar entitled, “How Younger Generations are Approaching LGBTQ Workplace Issues Around the World” as part of our bimonthly global webinar series. The presenting panel featured Neelam Jain, Founder & CEO of PeriFerry based in Bangalore, India; Tiago Marinho, Customer Success with Salesforce based in São Paulo, Brazil; and Thania Blanco Cruz, Coatings and Construction Product Manager and Latin America GLAD Leader with The Dow Chemical Company based in Bogotá, Colombia.
The webinar focused on their leadership efforts and impact, contextualized within the fact that societal views towards LGBTQ issues in general are shifting in a rapidly globalizing world. At the end of the webinar, Neelam, Tiago and Thania answered questions sent in by our audience members. Due to time constraints, the presenters could not respond to each and every question. The answers to these additional questions are published below. If you are interested in discussing these responses further with the panelists, please email Out & Equal’s Global Initiatives team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neelam, how are attitudes towards the LGBTQ community – particularly the trans community – among millennials in India? Is this different from attitudes among the general population?
Neelam Jain: From what I have experienced so far in my life, I understand it’s better not to generalize. On one hand, my own teammates were harassed in school just because they were feminine. An employee at PeriFerry was also beaten up by millennial boys. This article also suggests college students are more hostile to transgender people than other parts of the general public. I personally have no reason to believe otherwise. However, I honestly think for a non-biased answer, it’s better to ask this question to the Transgender India site and get to know what others think about this. To be honest, I think the conclusion would be that most millennials are hostile to LGBTQ community although there are exceptions as always with everything else in life.
Is the effort in India assisted by companies that outsource there?
Neelam Jain: Yes, the effort of PeriFerry to pursue for more Transgender inclusion in the Indian workplace is helped by the many companies that outsource here. Accenture, ANZ, RBS are some multinational companies who outsource in India – MNCs like these don’t discriminate against people based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, and the LGBTQ community of India can get employment with them.
Tiago, approximately what percentage of employees at Salesforce in Brazil (and globally) are millennials? Does this impact people’s attitudes towards LGBTQ inclusion?
Tiago Marinho: Unfortunately, I can’t share any estimate on that as I am a remote employee. Regarding millennials’ impact on LGBTQ inclusion, I believe that they seem to feel much more open about it. A fun fact: I heard that after our previous “Coming Out as Allies” event, two young professionals from the office team felt more encouraged about being themselves at work. They joined the Outforce Group and now are active members.
Thania, do you have a lot of millennials at your manufacturing sites and if so, did that help you with the success of advancing GLAD in those parts of the company?
Thania Blanco Cruz: Millennials have been key in the success of advancing GLAD not only in manufacturing sites but across all sites in Colombia, they represent more than 60% of the people actively involved in the network.
In manufacturing sites, we have a lower proportion of millennials compared to commercial offices but speaking specifically for our ERG participants they still represent a majority. They bring the specific needs from each site and they know how to get to the manufacturing team in a way that it would be more difficult for us from commercial offices. Millennials bring innovative ideas to raise awareness in valuable spaces so that the message can reach the majority of the plant operators. They establish great relationships with leadership in order to gain full support from them to deliver our mission.