Balconagar, Korba; 15th April 2023: The Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, conducted a two-day gender sensitization workshop with employees to nurture a culture of inclusion & respect. The workshop was led by Vidya Rajput who is a member of the Transgender Welfare Society and also the President of Chhattisgarh Mitwa Sankalp Samiti, an NGO that works towards the advancement of the transgender community. Raveena Bariha, Secretary, and Popi Devnath, Member, Chhattisgarh Mitwa Sankalp Samiti were also present as resource persons during the workshop.
This was followed by a series of activities with its transgender employees, in commemoration of the Transgender Day of Visibility. BALCO is one of the first companies in Chhattisgarh and amongst the few in the country to have LGBTQIA+ employees in core manufacturing roles. Currently, the transgender employee count at BALCO stands at 15, with employees involved in significant roles such as industrial security and material handling at its cast house, where the company’s finished aluminium products are made. On the Transgender Day of Visibility, they were invited to share their thoughts on how the company could be a greater ally of the transgender community, their vision for growing with the company, and reflections on their experience so far.
Talking about BALCO being an ally of the LGBTQIA plus community, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Director of BALCO said, “At BALCO, we believe in providing equal opportunities to all our employees and creating a safe, inclusive and encouraging workplace for all who work with us. We are committed to fostering more diversity in our workforce, with greater focus on diversity in leadership roles. This is seeing us leave no stone unturned in attracting the best of talent and tapping into their potential, as we foster a merit-first culture which powers the growth of our company and adds value to our customers, partners, communities and the nation at large.”
Talking about her experience, transgender employee Madhu Manikpuri, who is working in the Security function, said, “I am grateful to be a part of BALCO’s workforce. From the hardships we faced being in the fringes of the society to handling security at India’s iconic aluminium producer, we are being given equal opportunities to grow and succeed. The gender sensitization workshops conducted by the company shows BALCO’s commitment to a more inclusive and diverse workplace, where everyone feels belonged.”