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India Set to Acquire First Dedicated LGBT Hiring Consultancy Firm

"We have over 50 companies, who are very interested in hiring from the LGBTI talent pool," Sinha said

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"We have over 50 companies, who are very interested in hiring from the LGBTI talent pool," Sinha said. Pixabay

Almost a year after the landmark Supreme Court judgement decriminalising homosexuality, India is set to get its first dedicated hiring consultancy firm for the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community.

At present, even after the change in law, members of India’s LGBTQ community lag behind their western counterparts in attaining equal pay, corporate representation and other benefits.

Accordingly, the Bengaluru-based Diversity & Inclusion firm — Pride Circle — plans to shatter some of these stereotypes via a dedicated wing which will look at the job consultancy market for the LGBTQ candidates.

“There is a lot of systemic bias and roadblock for LGBTI job seekers, these becomes even more challenging for visibly LGBT individuals,” Pride Circle’s Co-Founder Ramkrishna Sinha told IANS.

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“The companies which participated in the job fair were delighted by the candidates they met, five candidates already got confirmed job offers from the fair.” VOA

“Our goal is to work with companies to eliminate such conscious or unconscious biases in the recruitment process and also work with candidates to enable them for facing interviews. A lot of LGBT candidates face issues of self-esteem, due to the series of discrimination they have faced.”

Not just unemployment of LGBTQ candidates, even the lack of sensitisation and unfriendly policies towards businesses that cater to this internationally significant segment of consumers has led to an estimated loss of around $30 billion to India’s GDP as per a World Bank report.

The 2014 World Bank report — Economic Cost of Homophobia and the exclusion of LGBTQ people: A case of India — estimated the country to have lost 0.1-1.7 per cent of the GDP due to homophobia.

“Companies have been hesitant in engaging and at times are unaware of the method to that engagement. The siloes leads to stereotypes and misinformation on both ends, leading to a growing chasm, our aim to build platforms of engagement for the community and corporation to meet,” Sinha said.

“We are encouraging corporations to have avenues of dialogue, look at opportunities to engage besides a full time job, and these could be fellowship, internship, skill building programs etc.”

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Additionally, the firm aims to organise the job fair in 10 cities over the next 18-24 months. The firm is hopeful to place at least 1,000 LGBTQ candidates within a year. Pixabay

Globally, this segment known generically as — Pink Dollar Economy — has become a financially significant sub-section of the consumer market for various industries like travel, insurance and even white goods.

Recently, the firm organised India’s first LGBTQ job fair — RISE (Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity) — in Bengaluru. Over 40 companies participated in the event including the likes of Uber and Intel.

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Besides, the job fair saw a participation of more than 300 LGBTQ candidates for various sectors in IT, banking and administration. “We have over 50 companies, who are very interested in hiring from the LGBT talent pool,” Sinha said.

“The companies which participated in the job fair were delighted by the candidates they met, five candidates already got confirmed job offers from the fair.” Additionally, the firm aims to organise the job fair in 10 cities over the next 18-24 months. The firm is hopeful to place at least 1,000 LGBTQ candidates within a year. (IANS)

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#21DaysAllyChallenge: Initiative to Support Inclusion of LGBT+ Community in all Spheres

#21DaysAllyChallenge is a drive to celebrate LGBT+ Pride

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The recent drive aims to support the cause of inclusion of LGBT+ Community in different spheres. Pixabay

In a recent drive, corporates, academia and individuals from across the world have signed up to extend support for inclusion of the LGBT+ community in different spheres.

#21DaysAllyChallenge, a unique initiative conceptualised by Pride Circle, a Diversity & Inclusion Consultancy, aims to bring a holistic social change by building a community of passionate allies, across the world. The campaign will kick off on June 1 which marks the beginning of the Global Pride Month.

As the world is trying to stabilize in the current circumstances caused by the pandemic, this is an effort to push forward for inclusion. The movement, led across India, is not only joined by individuals, influencers from 28 nations and 70 organisations, but also by academic institutions such as IIMs, IITs, NMIMS, MICA, Tagore International School.

Under this initiative, allies from across the world will engage in a series of 21 mini-challenges spread over a period of 21 days in the month of June. This is based on science that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

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As a part of this initiative, allies from across the world will engage in a series of 21 mini-challenges spread over a period of 21 days in the month of June. Pixabay

Commenting on this empowering initiative, Ramkrishna Sinha, Co-Founder, Pride Circle, said, “In our country where homosexuality legalization is yet to complete two years, this India-born initiative is our leap of faith to create a large-scale, global movement to advocate for equal rights and fair treatment for the LGBT+. We believe that allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices for this movement. The contribution of allies in terms of helping create a space of comfort, help bridge the gap in understanding of others with respect to the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance, and mutual respect, can be vast.

The #21DaysAllyChallenge is an affirmative action in the direction of building an inclusive and just society with the support from the allies.”

Echoing the sentiments, Srini Ramaswamy, Co-Founder, Pride Circle, added, “We are really humbled and excited by the response we have received from several national and international organizations, influencers, schools, colleges, voluntary groups which are committed to championing the cause for the greater good of the LGBT+ community as well as the society.

Pride Circle urges more and more organisations and individuals to come forward and partake in this movement. We are confident that with every new ally we create, we are loosening the shackles of homo/bi/transphobic conditioning our society is conditioned with.”

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The initiative is working towards the dignity, equality, and increased visibility of the LGBT+ community. Pixabay

Working towards establishing social equity through affirmative actions since 2017, Pride Circle has taken a significant move through #21DaysAllyChallenge. They have brought together the whole gamut of the stakeholders. Individuals and influencers from schools, workplaces to global human rights bodies, all are set to demonstrate their allyship and influence a lot more to commemorate self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of the LGBT+ community.

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“Allies play a critical role in the broader fight to advance LGBTQ equality and inclusion in key areas of life, including the workplace,” said Milagros Chirinos, Associate Director of HRC’s Global Workplace Equality Program. “We are incredibly excited to support Pride Circle’s #21DaysAllyChallenge to engage businesses and organizations in promoting allyship during Pride Month and beyond.” Milagros Chirinos, Associate Director, Global Workplace Equality Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation (USA).

“This initiative is a great opportunity for people in India and across the world to come together in support of equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Visible allies to the LGBT community make a huge difference, whether that’s championing LGBT rights in your work, or supporting LGBT family members or friends. Now, more than ever, we encourage everyone who believes in LGBT equality to Come Out For Equality and find out more about how they can be an ally,” said Pete Mercer, Head, Global Programmes, Stonewall (UK).

Anyone can sign-up and participate free-of-cost by clicking on the link https://thepridecircle.com/21daysallychallenge/   (IANS)

 

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Know More About the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia designed to focus on the LGBTQ community and their rights

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International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is celebrated to focus on the LGBTQ community. Pixabay

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. It’s the biggest lifestyle news of the day, celebrating the queer community and their rights.

First observed in 2004, the day was designed to focus “attention on the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender, identities or expressions, and sex characteristics,” according the May17.org website.

The U.N. secretary general issued a statement in support of May 17, noting that this year’s observation comes “at a time of great challenge.”

“Among the many severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased vulnerability of LGBTI people,” Antonio Guterres said. “Already facing bias, attacks and murder simply for who they are or whom they love, many LGBTI people are experiencing heightened stigma as a result of the virus, as well as new obstacles when seeking health care.”

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May 17 date was chosen for the worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities to commemorate the World Health Organization’s 1990 decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Pixabay

The U.N. chief urged people to “stand united against discrimination and for the right of all to live free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Most of the events around the world marking the day have been moved online because of the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Also Read: Lockdown: People With Higher Education, Income Spending More Time on Hobbies

The May 17 date was chosen for the worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities to commemorate the World Health Organization’s 1990 decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. (VOA)

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Know Why Gay and Bisexual Men are at a Risk of Developing Skin Cancer

Gay, bisexual men more likely to suffer skin cancer

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Gay men are more likely to suffer skin cancer than straight men. Pixabay

Gay and bisexual men are more likely to suffer skin cancer than straight men, according to a study. This is the latest health and lifestyle news.

According to the researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US, rates of skin cancer were higher among gay and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men but lower among bisexual women than heterosexual women.

Rates of skin cancer were 8.1 per cent among gay men and 8.4 per cent among bisexual men, statistically higher than the rate of 6.7 percent among heterosexual men.

Smaller studies have reported higher usage of indoor tanning beds among sexual minority men, a known risk factor for skin cancer.

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The researchers compared skin cancer rates among heterosexual men to rates in gay or bisexual men and compared rates among heterosexual women to lesbian or bisexual women. Pixabay

“It’s absolutely critical that we ask about sexual orientation and gender identity in national health surveys; if we never ask the question, we’d never know that these differences exist,” said corresponding author Arash Mostaghimi from the Brigham.

For the findings, published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, the research team lveraged data from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), using data collected from annual questionnaires from 2014 to 2018.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses the BRFSS to collect information about risk factors and behaviors among adults. About 450,000 adults are interviewed by telephone by the BRFSS each year.

The researchers compared skin cancer rates among heterosexual men to rates in gay or bisexual men and compared rates among heterosexual women to lesbian or bisexual women.

Skin cancer rates were 5.9 per cent among lesbian women and 6.6 per cent among heterosexual women, which was not a statistically significant difference.

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However, the rate of 4.7 per cent among bisexual women was statistically significantly lower than heterosexual women.

The BRFSS survey did not collect information about risk factors for skin cancer, such as UV exposure, Fitzpatrick skin type (a measure of skin color and susceptibility to sun burn), HIV status and more. (IANS)