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The logistics of diversity

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One of India’s largest ‘Third Party Logistics’ (3PL) solution providers, Mahindra Logistics Ltd (MLL) unveiled its LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Allied) policy, along with a robust plan to hire people from the community. As part of its five-year roadmap, the company is also committed to strengthening diversity and inclusion by leveraging the talents of women, people with disabilities, and ex-servicemen, all communities with – generally – limited representation at the workplace.

The company’s diversity and inclusion policy now extends employee benefits to the queer employees and same-sex partners. This includes but is not limited to adoption leave for single LGBT parents, ‘compassionate leave’ (in case of death of a family member), etc. It also offers counselling services for LGBTQIA employees and their immediate family members, including their partners. In addition, MLL has pledged equal opportunity and non-discrimination for queer employees in any process of hiring, relocation, training, transfer, career development, promotions, etc.

MLL has recently started employing ‘persons with disabilities’ (PwDs) in its warehouses. The company intends to recruit at least 500 associates on permanent rolls or on rolls of its business partners in FY2021. In preparation, sensitisation sessions for employees have been started and infrastructure audits have been initiated (completed for head office), in order to assess the company’s readiness to hire PwDs.

Gender diversity remains an issue in the field of logistics. MLL is attempting to bridge the gender diversity gap by recruiting more women from diverse backgrounds and experiences, especially through ‘Udaan’, a career comeback programme and second career internship for women at all levels, functions, and divisions. Its ‘Birth and Beyond’ programme also helps women employees advance their careers throughout the maternity and early motherhood period. The company is also planning to employ ex-servicemen, with 10 persons on the rolls in the first phase, and another 50 in the next three years.

"We encourage and value diversity amongst our employees, associates, business partners, customers and communities," said Mr.Rampraveen Swaminathan, MD and CEO, MLL. "It is imperative to make MLL attractive to millennials, provide equal opportunities to women and PwDs, recruit veteransfrom the armed forces, and shatter the stereotypes around a LGBTQIA workforce."

These robust initiatives will help MLL leverage untapped talent pools, enhance engagement and foster inclusivity at work place.