Imagine the jubilation in taking pride to be a part of a company that keeps diversity, equity, and inclusivity at its centre. Such is the everyday affair at ThoughtWorks. With Tina Vinod, let’s unfold the community effort that goes down at ThoughtWorks at building a gender and sexuality affirmative workspace.
“Speaking of diversity and culture in the workspace amongst my peers, ThoughtWorks has been mentioned as an exemplary organization. What initiative led to building such a firm impression of the organization?” inquisitively asks Smita Shetty Kapoor, KelpHR CEO and Co-Founder.
“Diversity and culture is woven into our organization since its commencement.”
“ThoughtWorks has been practising diversity and inclusivity long before we started using the nomenclature,” says Tina with gratification. She continues, “ More than a conscious effort to live up to the idea of diversity, the practice is deep-rooted in the organization since its inception.” Stating the company’s idea of self-reflection Tina says that every few years a global event is conducted to define, redefine, and understand the purpose of ThoughtWorks.
Create an extraordinary impact on the world through our culture and technology excellence- the purpose statement of ThoughtWorks
Revolution in the tech industry, commercial success, vibrant community and amplifying positive social change- are the collective vision of the ThoughtWorks employees across the globe. “Culture is one of the top reasons to join ThoughtWorks,” says Tina based on the employee feedback over the years. “In the past 6 to 7 years, ThoughtWorks has become more intentional about how they look at diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she continued. Shedding some importance on the focus of women in the tech industry, Tina states,
“Women in technology have always been a focus for us and we have a goal of being 40% women in Technology by 2022. Globally around 46% of our leadership team is women.”
Adding to that she says, “The focus is to also reach other gender minority inclusivity targets.” Aside from gender, ThoughtWorks has a secondary focus on colour and disability inclusion. “It’s also true that whether you care about diversity or not, you will have a diverse set of people,” says Tina. “Especially in a country like India, Diversity is inevitable,” she continues. Diversity can be turned into leverage for the organization’s development if manoeuvred efficiently. “This can be established with a collective ownership, reformed policies, affinity groups, and focusing on important metrics,” informs Tina.
How do you grow women leaders in the organization?- a challenge we continue to face.
Women in the leadership development programme, succession planning, having role models, creating a safe space, career mapping, and development plans – are the potential and adaptive solutions suggested by Tina. She continues, “It is also important to address aspects like imposter syndrome, do leaders have a conversation about, what measures are taken to handle micro-aggressions a the workplace.” Customized support is the key.
The onboarding process of ThoughtWorks discusses the culture, its importance and its practices within the organization.
Elaborating a little on this process, Tina says, “Right from our interview process we have something called the culture round where we discuss diversity and inclusivity without candidates. LGBTQ sensitization is an ongoing effort at ThoughtWorks. Pride month is celebrated widely across ThoughtWorks globally and in India as well.” She also expresses how important it is for their candidates to align with these ideologies if they want to fit in the organization.
Creating and retaining a transgender-inclusive space is very important
Tina reveals about ThoughtWorks’ ‘Interning with Pride’ virtual programme makes a specific effort to outreach to the trans community. “We are also conducting upscaling internship programmes.” Speaking of LGBTQ inclusivity, Tina talks about the policies adopted by ThoughtWorks which include same-sex partner cover, general neutral adoption leave policy, surrogacy coverage, gender-neutral anti-sexual harassment, gender affirmation and transition.
Expressing her concern about the LGBTQ stigma Tina says, “The amount of discrimination the community faces is not small. We need to do a lot to create a safe workplace and society for them.”
“The hiring of LGBTQ individuals should also be accompanied by rightful management and sensitization.”
“Inclusion is never like a state, you’re never 100% inclusive because it’s always a constant thing that you’re working on; because there are so many identities that are there, and without your knowledge unconsciously you may be building certain biases. That’s honesty that all of us need to acknowledge,” concludes Tina
The insights about active inclusivity and diversity practices conducted by ThoughtWorks have set a high benchmark for us and every other organization that aspires to follow their lead. It’s safe to say that starting a discussion about diversified culture and acceptance can be the way to set off on the right foot.
Celebrating and Standing with Pride
This Pride month 2022, KelpHR attempts to bring out every queer voice, be it from within the organisation or outside. Every voice needs to be heard. They need to be heard not only by the stakeholders of change but also by individuals and communities at large to be able to undergo the much required transformation that is of building safe and inclusive societies.
At KelpHR we believe that having a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is the key to business transformation and growth and that we must be inclusive of all persons irrespective of any differences. To know more about KelpHR’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion solutions do call us at +91-95001-29652, email email@example.com, visit www.kelphr.com
KelpHR was incorporated in 2013 to provide the best HR solutions to organizations, and to improve workplace culture across the board. Over the last 8 years, we have serviced more than 700 clients in India and a few overseas, across various industries in the areas of PoSH (prevention of sexual harassment at workplace), D, E & I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and EAP. But the common objective of all of these services is to build safer, happier, inclusive and productive workplaces.
For any of our other services related to Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) or Employee Assistance programs (EAP) do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call +91-95001-29652 and we’d be able to help you with customized offerings suited to your organization.