The Ripple Effects of Media Portrayal of LGBTQIA+ on the Workplace

  • June 16, 2023

June is Pride Month, a time when we recognize the accomplishments and the work ahead for the LGBTQIA+ community. Traditionally, the month also sees the release of many blockbuster movies. So, what's the connection between Pride Month and popular media? Well, the portrayal of LGBTQIA+ individuals in popular media has had a significant impact on public perception, which in turn extends to society and the workplace.

In the past, the LGBTQIA+ community faced numerous challenges at work, partly due to the way they were represented in popular media. Stereotypes and caricatures were often used, often portraying office workers as objects of ridicule or humor. These biased portrayals contributed to prejudice and discrimination seeping into the workforce, leading many LGBTQIA+ individuals to hide their true selves. If they did come out, they were often subjected to skepticism and labeled as outsiders.

Thankfully, perceptions have gradually evolved, and we now see more inclusive portrayals of the LGBTQIA+ community in popular media. Movie scripts have now started including individuals of all sexual orientations who are depicted as relatable and amicable characters. Even LGBTQIA+ superheroes have made their way onto the big screen. This sends a powerful message, especially to young viewers, that each one of us, regardless of our gender and sexual orientation, can be role models and heroes. Films now highlight past prejudices, and the storylines offer ways to challenge and overcome them. Many such examples serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for the community.

Training programs about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and inclusive policies implemented by companies have played a role in fostering acceptance in the workplace. Alongside, it's undeniable that positive media representation of LGBTQIA+ individuals has further reinforced these perceptions. Movies and popular media have become powerful tools to combat discrimination and promote diversity, and inclusion both in society and the workplace.

NTT DATA is committed to an inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Some of our recent activities in India aligned to the above are highlighted below:

  • We are an equal opportunity organization and are partnering with PRIDE CIRCLE to promote LGBTQIA+ hiring.
  • Our Talent Acquisition and HR teams participated in external events to brainstorm ideas and discuss ways to be more inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • We introduced the SafeZone training, which equips employees with the guidance and knowledge to become visible allies of the community.
  • We conduct ongoing training sessions and workshops to raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues and foster understanding among employees.

By taking these steps, we're actively working towards building an environment that celebrates diversity and embraces the LGBTQIA+ community. The silver screen has been increasingly championing LGBTQIA+; let’s continue the same in our workplace.

PRIDE is one of the many NTT DATA Employee Resource Groups. Check out all things PRIDE at NTT DATA.

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Shalini Kumar

Shalini Kumar serves as the Vice President of Project and Application Services in the India delivery team at NTT DATA Services. In her current role, she manages Global Application Delivery for the U.S. Healthcare Provider business. With more than two decades of industry experience, she leads and mentors a team of highly skilled technology enthusiasts and domain specialists, providing leading-edge solutions to clients worldwide.

Shalini has played an instrumental role in contributing to the diversity and inclusion portfolio and is also the diversity champion in India. She's been responsible for fostering the growth of diverse talent within the organization supporting equitable opportunities and promoting an inclusive culture.

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