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On the third anniversary of the Supreme Court verdict decriminalising homosexuality, Axis Bank has announced a charter of policies and practices to create an inclusive environment for employees and customers belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Rolling out its #ComeAsYouAre charter on Monday, the private sector lender said that in spirit of the apex court judgement and it's wider ESG commitments, these new policies and practices embrace diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and for its customers.

“History owes an apology to the members of this community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries. The members of this community were compelled to live a life full of fear of reprisal and persecution," the bank quoted Justice Indu Malhotra, who was part of the five-member bench that delivered the historic judgement on Section 377.

Also Read: 60% urban Indians back companies supporting equal rights for LGBTQ individuals

Under the new polices, all Axis Bank employees can list their partners for mediclaim benefits irrespective of gender, sex or marital status. They can now choose to dress in accordance with their gender or gender expression.

Employees can choose to use the restroom of their choice in accordance with their gender expression or gender identity. Axis Bank said it has initiated all gender restrooms at our large offices.

Axis Bank further said its LGBTQIA+ employees can invoke the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy and Human Rights Policy offered by the lender for redressal to challenges faced by them.

To make the banking experience inclusive for its customers, Axis Bank said it has introduced several offerings and will continue to do so in a phased manner over the coming days.

As part of these initiatives, from September 20, 2021, customers can open a joint savings bank account or a term deposit with their same sex partner. Customers who are gender non binary, gender fluid or transgender persons will have the option of choosing their title from the option of ‘Mx’ in their savings or term deposit account.

Customers can also opt to make their same sex partner a nominee in their savings or term deposit account at Axis Bank.

Also Read: The heroic employee who stood up to a workplace bully and won

“At Axis, we have put our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion that respects and recognizes the importance of distinctive life journeys and several identities that extend beyond the paradigms of gender. This for us is as much about the invisible markers as it is about the visible ones. It is our belief that it fosters a culture of innovation and leverages the multiple talent pools that exist in a rich demography like ours," Rajesh Dahiya, Executive Director, Axis Bank.

“Our Bank’s wider ESG aligned commitments, the ‘diversity & inclusion’ agenda has been a strategic focus. Towards that our work internally focusses on creating equitable processes and policies that allow us to create space for everyone to thrive. We welcome you to join us in this journey as change makers. ‘ComeAsYouAre’ as we are ‘DilSeOpen’," he added.

 

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