Chennai org releases audio visual tool for companies to become inclusive, diverse

Chennai org releases audio visual tool for companies to become inclusive, diverse
A woman who recently got married at the workplace reveals to a senior that after she returned from her honeymoon, her colleagues began treating her differently. When she asked a male colleague of hers for work recently, he retorted, “Why, so that you can go off for maternity leave soon? We have it covered amongst ourselves.”In another scenario, a group of people, including these two women are hanging out with their peers, talking about another colleague who apparently wears yellow nailpaint. One person doubts if this individual is even ‘a man’, while another tells the two men in the group to be careful while going to the gents’ loo with him. “What if he tries something?” one of them says. These are some of the ways that sexist, homophobic prejudices can play out in the workplaces, making the space unwelcome and unsafe for minorities. In an attempt to help companies address the same, Chennai-based International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care has come out with an audio-visual toolkit that companies can use to start dialogue, enable reflections and look at policies and practices to promote diverse and inclusive workspaces. The above two scenes were included in a preview of the toolkit shared on Friday. Developed in the last six months with support of the US Consulate General, Hyderabad, the toolkit will help companies tackle implementation challenges of existing policies by facilitating discussions on how they play out in day-to-day life. Rashmi Singh, Executive Director, Programmes at PCVC, also announced that the organisation will be holding virtual pilot workshops for companies in April and May that they can attend for free. While the videos in the toolkit will cover certain issues, Rashmi said that these will be used to further discussions on other topics as well, such as discussing the legal aspects of sexual harassment at the workplace. “The tool is to make people reflect by making people look at these issues from a distance and triggering our own hidden biases. If people are directly told that their own company does this, the process of accepting, acknowledging the problem may not happen out of defensiveness,” she said. While a preview of the toolkit, which is part of the initiative called 'Workspace diversity and inclusion: from legality to cultural change' will be made available on PCVC’s website, those who want the full kit can write to PCVC for the same. To sign up for the pilot workshops on the toolkit, you can create a note with the red plus sign on the bottom right corner of this page and add your company name or your name and your email ID. 

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