India now has its own workplace equality index with the launch of the India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI). Keshav Suri, hotelier and LGBT+ activist, has been working towards this through his non-profit organisation, Keshav Suri Foundation. Suri collaborated with Stonewall UK, Pride Circle and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to launch IWEI in the Indian corporate world.
The Index will help identify and recognise the employers who are committed to the cause of LGBT+ inclusion and have managed to successfully uphold LGBT+ rights in their organisations. It will recognise companies that have integrated LGBT+ inclusion in their policies, recruitment practices and internal and external communications.
The index will evaluate the performance and steps taken by organisations in terms of policies and benefits, employee lifecycle, employee network group, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work.
The first report that has emerged has diversity and inclusion (D&I) data from about 65 companies. Twenty-one organisations won under the gold category, while 18 were awarded under silver and 13 under the bronze category.
The IWEI is designed on the lines of the WEI by Stonewall, UK. British employers have been successfully using it as a benchmarking tool for almost 15 years now, to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT+ workplace equality in the UK.
In India, the Index has been launched two years after the repeal of Section 377, which decriminalised same-sex relationships in the country.