‘Dil se open’ Axis goes truly diverse & inclusive

Over 1,400 people from 15 tier-I and II cities in India participated in the drive specifically targeted at people from the underrepresented communities, including LGBTQIA+ and PwD

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Axis Bank has been systematically taking steps to ensure that its workforce is open to all, and truly inclusive. The most recent initiative aimed at making the Company more diverse and inclusive was the National Coming Out Day, which was celebrated on October 9.

“Commemorating the National Coming out Day, Axis Bank announced a hiring drive focussed on candidates from the LGBTQIA+ candidates. This drive was organised in 15 locations across the length and breadth of the country,” Rajkamal Vempati, president & head – HR, Axis Bank, tells HRKatha.

Axis Bank hosted the hiring drive across 15 tier- I and tier- II cities in India, targeting not just LGBTQIA+ talent, but also women and people with disabilities (PwDs).

The hiring drives were conducted across Mumbai, Surat, Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Ahemdabad, Pune, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Delhi, Noida, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The mode of recruitment was offline.

Interestingly, the Bank incorporated a large number of tier- II cities, which are traditionally not considered to be as open and friendly towards queer people. “While tier I cities are believed to have a more conducive and accepting environment, we were driven by the belief that queer lives exist in all spaces and all cities. Therefore, we didn’t see a reason to eliminate any city where we have vacancies, from this drive,” Vempati said.

“It was heartening to see 1,430 candidates from varied gender identities, gender expressions and sexualities participating at the drive across all the 15 locations. We have shortlisted 41 per cent of the attendees”

Rajkamal Vempati, president & head – HR, Axis Bank

The Bank has offered the roles of branch relationship officer, relationship manager and sales executive in the present drive. “All our positions are open to LGBTQIA+ persons. The #ComeAsYouAre charter of policies and practices was announced by the Bank on September 6, 2021. For this drive specifically, we looked for queer talent for customer-facing roles in our branches.”

The inclusive policies that the Bank has listed under the ‘Come As You Are’ charter enables employees to avail mediclaim benefits for their partners, irrespective of gender, sex or marital status.

Employees can also dress in accordance with their gender/ gender expression. Further, they can access gender-specific toilets in accordance with the gender that they associate themselves with.

Axis’ head HR, informs us that the Bank was able to shortlist more than 500 people from the underrepresented communitues via this particular drive. The drive attracted overe 1400 people. “It was heartening to see 1,430 candidates from varied gender identities, gender expressions and sexualities participating at the drive across all the 15 locations. We have shortlisted 41 per cent of the attendees,” shares Vempati proudly.

With specific recruitment for people from the underrepresented communities, it is essential to ensure that the Company’s culture is truly open to people from diverse backgrounds. Only then can such moves work and actually leave a lasting result. Vempati claims that Axis is ‘dil se open’, and hence, is one of the better workplaces for diversity. “At Axis Bank, respect for our fellow colleagues and customers is non-negotiable. We are ‘dil se open, in letter and in spirit’,” she says. “We recognise the varied differences that exist between our employees. We have been conducting ‘Pause for Bias’ sessions for all our employees with the intent to challenge our biases regularly,” she shares.

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