Swiggy has hired a transgender techie who will now run an in-house LGBT support group
- Foodtech startup
Swiggyrecently hired its first transgenderemployee – Samyuktha Vijayanas its Principal Program Manager.
- In an interview with Business Insider, Vijayan talks about what companies can do to actually bring in diversity through hiring.
- Vijayan, has been an inspiration for transgender women, having worked with Amazon and built her own startup.
Doing so is the Indian foodtech unicorn Swiggy which is building an in-house LGBT support group. It recently hired its first transgender employee – Samyuktha Vijayan, a techie who worked in Europe and US for years before coming back to India in 2017.
Vijayan, who had worked for years at Amazon and later built her own startup Toutestudio, joins Swiggy as its Principal Program Manager. Her startup Toutestudio, which focused on upskilling transgender women in areas related to fashion, design, makeup and hairstyling, is still operational but at a smaller scale.
“As soon as I joined Swiggy, I was made a part of the ‘Women in Tech’ group along with a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council. I’m currently working with the team to have an in-house LGBT support group as well. We plan to start a pride network and actively work towards increasing LGBT visibility and diversity through hiring, within the company,” said Vijayan.
Indian corporates can do more
Vijayan believes that what companies are doing currently might showcase them as allies and supporters but they need to focus on having LGBT support groups and actively hire from the community.
However, the challenge exists as most transgender candidates do not have the necessary educational qualifications. Vijayan believes her family’s support put her focus on education and extra curriculars, which is why she became financially independent. And so, her struggles are different from other transgender women.
She believes for companies to have an inclusive work environment they need to extend these policies to non-corporate employees like a housekeeping person.
“For transgender candidates who have the potential but do not have the traditional qualifications (like a university degree or a certain skill) companies should put together an internship or a training program to train them with the right skills and then absorb them into the firm as an employee,” said Vijayan.