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CSR partnership to advance LGBTQ+ Inclusion with Second Edition of ‘Vanavil: P&G Share The Pride IIT Madras Equality Summit’

P&G India
Procter & Gamble India (P&G India), maker of brands like Ariel, Vicks, Whisper etc., together with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, hosted the second edition ‘Vanavil: P&G Share The Pride – IIT Madras Equality Summit’ to advance equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community.  The Summit, held from March 1st to 3rd 2024, brought together a host of distinguished speakers, including leaders from P&G India, who shared their insights and personal experiences with the students at the campus, sparking meaningful conversations around various issues of contemporary as well as historical relevance to the queer community.
The event was flagged off with the launch of a first-of-its-kind ‘P&G Share The Pride Inclusion Handbook’ – a comprehensive toolkit designed to drive awareness and sensitize students at educational institutes on LGBTQ+ allyship and inclusion. The ‘Inclusion Handbook’ has been developed by P&G India in partnership with the queer clubs of 6 leading educational institutes across the country including Pride of Joka from IIM Calcutta, Vannam IIT Madras and XLRI among others. This initiative is a significant step for P&G India’s ‘ShareThePride’ commitment to partner with Indian educational institutes to create safe spaces and visible allies for the LGBTQ+ community.
The unveiling of the book was followed by a masterclass that aimed to decode the contents of the handbook for the students, and a panel discussion on ‘Fuelling inclusion for organizational and personal growth’ which included Abhijit Majumder, Professor, IIT Mumbai, Enakshee Deva– Head, Corporate Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility, P&G India, and Omkar Masurkar, Senior Manager, P&G India. The panel narrated their personal experiences, and shared insights into how P&G India is ‘Leading With Love’, in their endeavour to respect and reflect the diversity of their consumers, starting from the workplace. Additionally, the Summit delved into topics linked to access to care, need for open dialogues, sensitization, and arts among others. The Summit also featured noted personalities including Mr. Patruni Chidananda Sastry (renowned drag artist) who presented a captivating drag performance, as well as Jeo Baby (renowned filmmaker) who sparked discussions about acceptance and the power of filmmaking to transform society, through a film screening.
This marks another milestone in P&G India’s journey of driving inclusion for LGBTQ+ community, with the second year of the unique engagement with one of its key campus partners – IIT-Madras, and their student-run LGBTQIA+ support and sensitisation group -Vannam.
Commenting on the same, Ankur Bhagat, Vice President – Product Supply & Executive Sponsor for LGBTQ+ Inclusion, P&G India said, “At P&G, equality and inclusion are at the cornerstone of our culture, simply because we endeavour to  respect and reflect the diversity of our consumers, and creating an ecosystem where everyone is welcome as they are, with equal opportunities to learn, thrive and succeed. We are delighted to partner with Vannam IIT Madras, for the second edition of the Summit, which builds upon the success of the inaugural edition. The second edition of the Summit was truly engaging, ripe with insights and stories of allyship and inclusion shared by the distinguished changemakers who graced the event. This one is special because of the launch of the P&G India ShareThePride Inclusion Handbook, aimed at advancing LGBTQ+ allyship and inclusion at educational institutes across the country. Collaborations like these with IIT Madras are essential in driving long-term change and promoting acceptance and equality.”
IIT Madras Spokesperson said,We are proud to host the second edition of Vanavil: P&G India ShareThePride IIT Madras Equality Summit. IIT Madras has a long-standing commitment to fostering an inclusive environment, as evidenced by initiatives like our LGBTQ+ student support cell and our sensitization workshops for faculty and staff. The Summit’s engaging discussions and diverse range of speakers provided valuable insights and perspectives to our students, empowering them to become advocates for LGBTQ+ inclusion in their personal and professional lives. We believe that our collaboration on the inclusion handbook will play a pivotal role in creating safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ on campuses. We are grateful to P&G India for their continued collaboration.”
P&G introduced GABLE (Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian Employees) – the official affinity group of LGBTQ+ employees and their allies, more than 25 years ago as a network for fostering workplace equality for LGBTQ+ employees and today, it has grown into a supportive global community with chapters in 40 countries including India. These chapters represent the diversity of its employees, as well as strong allies to support individuality and inclusion. Further, P&G India has been driving LGTBQ+ inclusion within the Company with several dedicated initiatives including:
– Sensitization trainings for employees, to create and nurture a companywide ally network, encouraging employees from the community to bring their true authentic selves to the workplace.
– All Company offered financial and medical benefits for employees extend to our LGBTQ+ employees and their partners.
– P&G offices and manufacturing sites have taken up the onus to be visible in their efforts, through diverse visuals and Pride colours across touchpoints to keep reinforcing safe spaces – from email signatures to Pride rainbow-colored entranceways.
– The Company has endeavoured to create infrastructural interventions like dedicated gender-neutral restrooms at its offices, which has further helped pave way for driving inclusion
– The Company also runs an affinity group – Out and Proud chapter in India, to empower and encourage employees from the community to come together and aid each in a circle of trust.
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