Pernod Ricard India Foundation partners with Tata Institute of Social Sciences for India’s 1st Academic-Corporate Fellowship Program for transgenders

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Pernod Ricard India Foundation 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 program will systemically enable transpersons from underserved communities across India to craft their career paths in the corporate world.

With inequitable access to education and skills, the transpersons are often forced to take up menial roles in society and continue to face significant socio economic and cultural barriers in their journey towards financial independence and to be in the corporate workforce. 

In addition, with barriers like the high bar on minimum education and experience, along with the lack of gender-neutral policies, systems & infrastructures, and low social acceptance, only a few transpersons ever make it to the executive and managerial positions in their corporate careers. This fellowship program will provide adequate training and exposure to transform them to take on managerial and higher up positions in the corporate ladder.

Transpersons between the age group of 18-25 years can apply for the program as there is no higher education bar for the applicants.

Transpersons between the age group of 18-25 years can apply for the program as there is no higher education bar for the applicants. These applicants will be shortlisted through an online process followed by a round of group discussions and personal interviews. The first batch of 20 fellows aims to start on July 1. Applications for the one-year Fellowship are now open and will close on April 30 2022.

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, I can bring their authentic selves to work every day.”

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 societal 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 towards people, planet, and communities. We strongly believe in investing in and nurturing gender agnostic talent pools to truly harness the power of human capabilities and connections and this program is a step towards building an ecosystem of equal work opportunities for transpersons.”

Talking about the program, Prof Satyajit Majumdar, Dean and Professor, School of Management and Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, said, “The Institute has always been guided by the vision of building an equitable society through cutting-edge research, contemporary course curriculum and action on ground. With a strong history of enabling the marginalized, we are happy to partner with Pernod Ricard India Foundation for the cause of inclusion in the workforce and are committed to futures through people-centred innovation.”

The one-year fellowship program is divided into two distinct phases. The first phase seeks to build theoretical acumen in business subjects and workplace skills through 6 months of immersive classroom training and project work led by the faculty and mentors at TISS. It will be followed by 6-months of hands-on workplace immersion through internships at leading corporates and non-profits to provide multi-faceted exposure and experiential learning. 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. Through both phases, fellows will be provided with constant emotional and psycho-social support in addition to career guidance from experienced LGBTQIA+ professionals, leaders from corporates, industry and non profits.

Upon successful graduation, the fellows will be awarded with 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.

As concern grows about workplace diversity in the last decade, businesses across the world and India have ramped up their efforts to improve inclusion. From just hiring more women, many organisations are expanding the definition to include all genders, races, ethnicities, and abilities. While there has been some progress with hiring LGBTQIA+ persons, it is the transgender India Private Limited (PRIPL), South Asia’s Leading Multimedia News Agency that committed to drive sustainable solutions to address social, economic and environment sustainability while partnering in India’s development initiatives. It aims to shape a better future for ~13,00,000 lives near 24 plants in more than 19 states by focusing on water resource management, education, livelihood generation, healthcare, and empowering social change makers.

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was established in 1936 as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. In 1944, it was renamed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The year 1964 was an important landmark in the history of the Institute when it was declared Deemed to be a University under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act (UGC), 1956. TISS Being a Multi-Campus Network University offers teaching, research, and outreach programmes from four campuses: Mumbai (Main and Naoroji); Tuljapur; Guwahati; and Hyderabad. TISS is a unique institution that brings together high-quality scholars and practitioners from Social, Economic, Political, Physical, Habitat, Political, Physical, Habitat, Engineering, Health, and Environmental Sciences to co create teaching and research programmes to address the most critical current and emerging issues of the nation.

(This story is forwarded by PRNewswire)

#LGBTQ #TataInstitute #TISS

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