Meet and Greet Reception in Honour of Consul General Edgard D. Kagan & Perspectives on LGBTQ Workplace Equality in India, Official Launch of AMCHAM India’s LGBTQ+ Chapter under the D&I Committee
On 3rd June 2019, in celebration of Pride Month, AMCHAM’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee officially launched the LGBTQ chapter of AMCHAM’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee with a panel session on ‘Perspectives on LGBTQ Workplace Equality in India.’ The event was a momentous occasion as it was a meet and greet reception in honour of Consul General Edgard D. Kagan as members of AMCHAM’s Western Region wished him the very best as he continues on in his bigger role as Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, in New Delhi.
The event began with a welcome address by Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director – Western Region, AMCHAM. This was followed by an introduction to AMCHAM’s D&I Committee and LGBTQ Chapter by Ms. Ursula Thakkar, Chairperson – Western Region, AMCHAM & Managing Director, Lubrizol Advanced Materials India Private Limited. Through a presentation Ms. Thakkar shared the motto, mission, scope and architecture of AMCHAM’s D&I Committee. She then shared a glimpse of the past initiatives of the committee as well as shed light on the roadmap for the committee going forward.
The panel session on ‘Perspectives on LGBTQ Workplace Equality in India’ was represented by an eminent panel of speakers which included Consul General Edgard D. Kagan, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai, Ms. Kaku Nakhate, Vice Chairperson, AMCHAM, Chairperson – Diversity & Inclusion Committee, AMCHAM and President & Country Head (India), Bank of America N.A., Ms. Neelam Jain, CEO, PeriFerry and Mr. Parmesh Shahani, Founder, Godrej India Culture Lab. The session was moderated by Mr. Sudhir Jain, Managing Director, Chief Risk Officer, Bank of America N.A. The panel discussed overcoming challenges, recognizing biases and creating an inclusive workplace to welcome the rainbow into the corporate world. The Q&A saw participants discuss the economic, as well as social impact, of hiring LGBTQ individuals and the need for corporates to be authentically inclusive by deeds and not just words.
The panel session was followed by an appreciation address in honour of Consul General Edgard D. Kagan by Ms. Kaku Nakhate. Through her address she thanked Consul General Kagan for his support and guidance extended to AMCHAM especially towards initiatives in the Western Region during his tenure. She also acknowledged and thanked CG Kagan and his wife Ms. Cynthia Gire for their deep personal involvement and support to social causes and their keen interest in furthering the D&I agenda. Consul General Edgard D. Kagan began his remarks by thanking everyone for their co-operation and support during his tenure in Mumbai. He spoke positively of the willingness of U.S. companies to actively incorporate D&I with respect to inclusion of the LGBTQ community into the workplace. He closed by stating that although he will miss the city of Mumbai he looks forward to still having more time to spend in India as part of his next position in New Delhi. The event was hosted by Bank of America N.A.