Creating a diverse, inclusive, and safe workplace for the LGBTQIA+ community

Published June 30, 2021, 2:28 PM

by John Legaspi

Mondelez Philippines is now a member of Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride

Empowering LGBTQIA+ workers

For many years, the LGBTQIA+ community has faced a lot of mistreatment from many businesses and corporations, whether it is about not offering them services or banning them from entering their premises. While cases like the abovementioned are more of an outside versus inside story, what many don’t talk more about is the life of a queer person in the work floor. And sadly, it is not much of a stretch from the discrimination LGBTQIA+ folks receive outside.

Unfair bias, dress codes, and use of comfort rooms are among the issues the community is facing in their daily grind. Although the pandemic has changed the way we do our work today, it also left many of those concerns to be forgotten and not addressed by brands and corporations.

What businesses don’t understand about creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is that it not only benefits the LGBTQIA+ community but their entire labor force as well. To set and example, global food brand Mondelez Philippines has taken measures to build a work ecosystem that empowers all kinds of people as it believes that “diversity is a strength that drives its innovation and growth.”

“Even in this day and age, we still need to overcome several forms of inequality and unconscious bias around the world. We must change this. Achieving equality in all forms is everyone’s responsibility and requires collective action from all of us,” says Ashish Pisharodi, country director of Mondelez Philippines. “Our dream is to build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable world, socially and economically. We choose to believe we are stronger through our diverse, inclusive, and connected community; to act by doing what’s right and treating everyone with integrity and fairness, and to create a culture that fosters a true sense of belonging.”

The brand has implemented several policies which support members of the LGBTQIA+ community including HMO benefits for domestic partners, primary caregiver leaves, single parent leaves, and remote working policy for employees whose partners are working abroad. To ensure its goals are met, it has also launched an aggressive internal campaign to surface the issue of unconscious bias and has provided guidance and training to its colleagues to eliminate blind spots in this regard through speaking up and mutual feedback.

“While we have come a long way, much more can be and needs to be done to make our workplace more inclusive and free from bias,” Ashish says. “While diversity is a start, its benefits are contingent on our ability to create a truly inclusive workplace.”

Employees of Mondelez Philippines

To ensure its goals are met, Mondelez Philippines has recently signed on to become a member of the Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride (PFIP). A collaborative, voluntary, and non-profit community, the organization is composed of dedicated representatives from the LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Groups, Human Resource, and Diversity teams of the corporate industry. PFIP aims to foster an industry that is safe and inclusive for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We’re happy to welcome Mondelez Philippines as a member of the PFIP. We laud their commitment to providing a safe and inclusive workplace for all talents, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics,” explains Chris Eugenio, PFIP Board of Trustee. “Through our partnership with Mondelez Philippines, we hope to promote the three basic LGBT+ rights in the workplace: the right to a chosen name and preferred pronouns to affirm one’s gender identity, the right to dress according to one’s gender expression, and the right to access inclusive facilities and amenities including restrooms. For companies who are looking to evolve their workplace culture, we recommend starting with these inclusive practices.”

“The partnership with PFIP is exciting for us because it can help guide us to become even more inclusive and create relevant, impactful change to our workplace,” Ashish ends.

Learn more about Mondelez Philippines’ diversity and inclusion commitments here.

 
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