Bhubaneswar : In a one-of-its-kind, inclusive step within the domestic manufacturing sector, Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, has introduced a ground-breaking ‘Gender Reaffirmation Leaves and Compensation Policy’ for LGBTQ+ employees employed at its operations. The policy extends to staff members at all its locations, including its mega aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Odisha, its world-class alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, and its subsidiary BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer based in Chhattisgarh.
The policy supports all employees contemplating the transformative journey of gender reassignment through surgery, and is a significant addition tothe company’sextensive Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts. Through this, Vedanta Aluminium also seeks to inspire progressive action across the Indian manufacturing landscape, which has traditionally witnessed a low diversity ratio.Already, two transgender professionals at BALCO have availed of the support offered through the policy.
Vedanta Aluminium’s new ‘Gender Reaffirmation Leaves and Compensation Policy’ supports transgender employees with a one-time grant of 2 lakh rupees, which will help cover expenses related to gender reassignment surgery. Additionally, it offers a 30-day paid leave of absence, ensuring a comforting transition period focused on self-care to every individual who opts to avail of the policy. The company has also established world-class residential townshipswith several amenities for employees at each of its locations.Together, they add to the supportive environment created by Vedanta Aluminium, actively encouraging individual growth and self-discovery among its diverse employees.
Underscoring the importance of this cause, Mr. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Ltd. – Aluminium Business said, “At Vedanta Aluminium, we are committed to creating a workplace where each team member feels empowered to be their true selves. By ensuring that all our roles are gender-agnostic and our hiring approach remains focused only on talent and ability, we are working towards building an inclusive future for the global aluminium industry as well.”
Mr. Dilip Sinha, CHRO, Vedanta Ltd. – Aluminium Business added, “The new gender reaffirmation policy is an added demonstration of our commitment to fostering a workplace where diversity isn’t just accepted but celebrated. We recognise that these journeys are deeply personal and transformative, and therefore strive to provide a safe, nurturing environment that enables each individual to express themselves in the most authentic manner possible.”
Appreciating the initiative, Ms. Vidya Rajput, a member of the Transgender Welfare Society and the President of Chhattisgarh Mitwa Sankalp Samiti, said, “I wholeheartedly appreciate Vedanta Aluminium’s commitment to supporting its transgender employees in their gender reaffirmation journeys. In recognizing the significance of gender affirmation, the company stands as a pioneering business in the country, setting a remarkable example for its peers to follow.”
Vedanta Aluminium now employs nearly 30 transgender employees across all of its locations, in diverse roles ranging from asset security to materials movement to hospitality.To ease the transgender community’s accelerated transition from the margins of society to major manufacturing operations, Vedanta Aluminium has adopted a three-pronged approach involving:
· Evaluating and identifying transgender professionals displaying the appropriate skills needed for working within a major manufacturing operation through skill mapping studies
· Comprehensive skill augmentationfor new recruits focused on operational skills, soft skills and business knowledge
· Establishing an inclusive, enablingatmosphere through gender-sensitization sessions on the social and psychological challenges of transgender people, recommended ways of working and infrastructural augmentations
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.