Pernod Ricard India Foundation (PRIF) today announced its partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), and the Collective Good Foundation (CGF) to launch India’s first Academic-Corporate Fellowship Program for the transgender community. This aims at enabling the community from across India, to craft their career paths in the corporate world.
The people belonging to the transgender community often face challenges despite several social awareness programmes. Citing this, PRIF came up with the idea to provide them with adequate training and exposure to transform them to take on managerial and higher up positions on the corporate ladder. The first batch of 20 fellows is expected to start on 1st July.
Also, Zainab Patel, Lead - Inclusion and Diversity at Pernod Ricard India, says, "The world is an especially difficult place for transpersons who face constant biases and are never judged on the basis of their talent. It is very important to create an inclusive culture where people from all social strata and gender identities feel like they belong, and the first step is equitable education. This will create the cornerstone for transpersons to find gainful employment – a thought that is firmly embedded in PRI’s ethos and its commitment to people, the planet, and communities. We strongly believe in investing in and nurturing gender agnostic talent pools to truly harness the power of human capabilities and connection and this program is a step towards building an ecosystem of equal work opportunities for transpersons."
The fellowship will be one-year-long programme and during the same, each fellow will be offered a total stipend of INR 2,40,000 along with INR 96,000 for travel and stay during the year. Additionally, the candidates will be provided with constant emotional and psycho-social support in addition to career guidance from experienced LGBTQIA+ professionals, leaders from corporates, industries and non-profits.
Upon successful graduation, the fellows will be awarded completion certificates from TISS. This will provide them with strong credentials that will enable corporate inclusion. Further, the fellows will also be assisted in charting out their future goals, and the program will attempt to facilitate corporate placements for interested fellows in partnership with Pride Circle.
Speaking about the program, Sashidhar Vempala, Head – CSR & Chief Sustainability Officer at Pernod Ricard India, said, “Aligned to our global commitment to inclusion & diversity, Pernod Ricard India, strives to transform communities by accelerating local development. Empowering people, especially women in rural areas, differently-abled persons and other minority groups including LGBTQIA+ is core to our social transformation and incubation vision. Through this Transformation Fellowship program, we want to harness the power of collaborative efforts to steer pathbreaking inclusion for underserved transpersons within our communities. We are passionate about creating equitable workplaces, where individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual and cultural orientation, can bring their authentic selves to work every day.”