Diesel and gas engine major Cummins India has been recognised as the ‘Silver’ employer by the India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI) Top Employers 2020. The recognition is assigned to Cummins India for its significant achievements in promoting LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace, demonstrating progress and impact over time.
Since its inception in early 2018, Cummins India Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) has made continuous efforts to enhance the diversity, equality and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people. The India Pride ERG has worked with the relevant departments to ensure that the documents and policies are inclusive of LGBT employees. A Pride Handbook was also launched to serve as a fast resource and network resource guide for LGBTQ+ employees.
In addition to the various campaigns, projects and programmes such as Proclaim Thy Pronouns have been initiated to encourage all employees to write their preferred pronouns in their email signatures to be inclusive towards their non-binary workforce. The company also introduced photography, painting and story/article writing competitions to help people think and display their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Recently the Ally Program was introduced in India to help create a vocal and visible support system for LGBTQ+ people in the form of allies, within the organisation. In addition, the company says it conducts regular online sessions of LGBT-101 training to raise awareness about the LGBTQ+ community. Numerous talks and presentations at various university and industry forums are also organised by Cummins India to spread the message across the community. The Trans-Inclusion project, an initiative to hire transgender persons in Cummins and to create an workspace inclusive of them, is also underway.
Commenting on the certification, Ashwath Ram, MD, Cummins India said, “Cummins truly believes that with a diverse and inclusive workforce, we can bring the right combination of perspectives, insights and skills to solve the challenges of our stakeholders. At Cummins in India, we take special efforts to create a workplace culture that is not just diverse but also inclusive. By building an inclusive environment devoid of any bias or prejudices, we strive to empower all our employees to achieve their full potential. Starting with our efforts in gender diversity, our efforts have expanded in the last five years to include diversity in religion, sexual orientation, different regions and cultures across India, the differently-abled as well as varying age-groups/ generations. I am pleased that our efforts have been recognized. Going forward, we know we still have a good deal of work to do to create a safe and inclusive workplace for our people.”
The India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI) is a benchmarking tool for employers to measure progress on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) equality and inclusion in the workplace. The tool is said to be built on more than a decade of experience from the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, which was introduced in the UK in 2005. In 2020, IWEI was introduced in India by diversity and inclusion organisations such as Pride Circle, Keshav Suri Foundation and Stonewall (UK).