Parmesh Shahani on Equality in the Workplace and the LGBTI Movement
12 July 2016
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Parmesh Shahani is vice-president at Godrej Industries, a large Indian business group with revenues of $4.1 billion and interests in aerospace, agriculture, appliances, chemicals, property, construction, furniture, locks, engineering, infotech, and other sectors. At Godrej, Shahani heads the Godrej India Culture Lab, an experimental space where ideas about modernity and Indianness are explored. Godrej champions diversity and inclusion and has been prominent in supporting and promoting LGBT rights within its own operations and wider society.
Shahani is the author of the book Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications, 2008), and the Editor at large for Verve magazine. He is a Yale World Fellow, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a TED Fellow and an academy member for the Global Teacher Prize. Parmesh has an MS in Comparative Media Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and B.Com and B.Ed degrees from the University of Mumbai. He tweets at @parmeshs and lives and works in Vikhroli, Mumbai, which he insists, is the cultural capital of the universe.
In a conversation with IHRB's Salil Tripathi at the Godrej campus in Vikhroli, Shahani talks about the importance of equality in the workplace and why Godrej Industries has been a leader in supporting the LGBT movement in India. He talks of the moral imperative as well as economic benefits to organisations that embrace inclusion and equality and urges other companies, in India and beyond, to be part of the change.