A sense of belonging is an inherent need for every human being. Baumeister and Leary define belonging as “the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group or place, and as the basic fundamental drive to form and maintain lasting, positive, and significant relationships with others.” However, as perpetrators of normativity, we often discriminate people on the basis of religion, language, caste, class, socio-economic status etc, thereby depriving them of the most basic human need of feeling accepted and loved. Even though discriminatory practices like racism, casteism, and homophobia are still rampant in most places of the world, awareness around these issues has increased considerably in the past decade. This has led many corporate organisations to establish a culture of inclusivity which has subsequently proven to have resulted in better organizational outcomes.
Andy Zynga argued that diversity is a means to overcome the cognitive biases that prevent people from seeing new approaches or engaging them when found. Moreover, fostering an inclusive workplace culture is one of the many steps we can take for building a better and happier world.
As a leap forward in practices of inclusivity, WeWork, the world’s leading co-working space has taken a positive step in India towards embracing its LGBTQ staff by extending the company’s medical insurance benefits to same-sex domestic partners. This step is a commitment by WeWork to acknowledge and celebrate diversity and inclusion amongst its employees through their people practices.
Priti Shetty, Head of People, WeWork India, says “WeWork as a brand believes in leveraging the diversity of our people and is taking steps to celebrate the spirit of inclusion ... We announce our insurance coverage policy to be LGBTQ friendly and all WeWork India employees, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation will now be able to add partners as dependents and gain the same benefits. I would like to thank our partners, Futurerisk and The Oriental Insurance Company who support us in providing health insurance benefits to our people.”
She further adds, “I believe that we become the best versions of ourselves when we can bring our whole and authentic selves to work. This helps us build deeper and meaningful connections with each other and our members. We have to respect each individual’s diverse needs to foster a truly inclusive culture. The insurance coverage for our LGBTQ colleagues is a step in that direction.”
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