27 Dec

Issue 92 - From beggars to I.T Specialists – Transgender inclusiveness in MNCs

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Issue 92 - From beggars to I.T Specialists  Transgender inclusiveness in MNCs

From beggars to I.T Specialists – Transgender inclusiveness in MNCs


Transgenders are people with a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. A person who is assigned the male sex at birth but who identifies as a female is a transgender woman

Being stigmatized and discriminated for who you are is one of the worst things in life that could happen to an individual. Transgender people all over the world face this dilemma. In India, most of the transgender people suffer this throughout their life everyday in one way or other. Owing to the non acceptance of the family, lack of education and the high stigma and ignorance that previals in the society, most transgender resort to begging and sex work for their daily livelihood.

There are few who are educated, who are skilled, who can speak in English and are good at web based skills. However, they too face the same fate of being denied a dignified job. I have seen many educated transgender women who hold a degree and are qualified enough to work in a company but go for begging and sex work. What a shocking and sad situation it is.

People with skills and a thirst for a dignified life should not be denied opportunities. It is their right to be employed, it is one of the basic human rights that should not be violated showing their gender identity as a reason.

In the west, transgender people are accepted as employees and not denied their rights to employee entitlements like medical, insurance etc. Multinational companies like HP, Microsoft and Oracle have employed many transgender people and their contribution is very notable. However, in India, companies and corporates are yet to include transgender as employees.

One of the campaigns I did in 2013 was sensitizing and persuading corporate companies and multinationals to accept and include transgender people as their employees. It is the first campaigns done in the country to include transgender people as their employees. In June 2013, I was in HP, Chennai talking in front of hundreds of top management employees, sensitizing them on the lives of transgender people and making them accept and understand trans people to be included and given opportunities of work. In October 2013, I was in Accenture Chennai campaigning to include qualified transgender people as their employees.

My campaigns at HP and Accenture at Chennai were both successful. Accenture Chennai is one of the pioneering companies in the country, which now has recruited two well-qualified and educated transgender women as their employees.

I am very happy and proud to see the outcome of the campaign. There is still a long way to go. Many MNCs should come forward to include qualified transgender people as their employees. Companies should treat their transgender employees with dignity, respect and provide them with the workplace, which should be free from discrimination.  

Support us in our battle for equality, which has miles to go before we achieve the equal status in society.

Kalki Subramaniam is the founder of Sahodari Foundation (www.sahodari.org), an actress, poet, blogger and an entrepreneur. She lives in Auroville near Puducherry.

Write to Kalki: aurokalki@gmail.com