With #WomenLeadingChange, Teleperformance tackled how education is fundamental to women’s equality and women empowerment in the workplace. For the last blog in this series, we’re highlighting how diverse women can be, and how focusing on the parity between women and men is not enough.
Teleperformance understands that women are more than one identity. When tackling diversity, many companies often reduce it as simply being about gender equality. What others fail to consider is the intersectional approach to empowerment which should give diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) a much larger, more important view beyond the gender dichotomy. Inclusion must be built on a comprehensive set of characteristics which includes sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, age, education, and religion — just to name a few.
What is Intersectionality?
Intersectionality is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.”
Therefore, to be a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, we must understand that both discrimination and empowerment are intersectional. The road towards equality should also fight for and protect people based on the intersection of what makes each of us who we are. Apart from having to face gender inequality in professional spaces, we are also subjected to other forms of prejudice. For example, a woman can be discriminated against for being a disabled LGBTQI+ while also being subjected to religious persecution.
Discrimination against persons with disabilities (PWDs) also becomes multilayered. Some companies employ biased recruitment processes that keep PWDs from receiving employment due to their physical disability, despite being qualified based on their skills and experience. Accessibility in the workplace should cater to everyone with both physical and invisible disabilities. Invisible disabilities, such as chronic health conditions, mental health conditions, visual and auditory disabilities, developmental disabilities, and more, affect millions of women worldwide. They tend not to receive proper accessibility measures in the workplace, are suspected of lying about their disabilities, prejudiced against when disclosing their non-physical disabilities, or even illegally forced to disclose disabilities.
All these could be the reality for a single woman or for a group of women in the workplace. In fact, transgender women are some of the most discriminated against worldwide.
Breaking the Bias
Quite literally, there is more than that meets the eye when it comes to intersectionality. Teleperformance prides itself for being an equal opportunity employer for all. Our DE&I initiatives provide our employees diverse, free, and inclusive workspaces and a safe space where they can comfortably celebrate who they are proudly.
Alongside TP Women, our ethnic communities or employees of color can come together to combat discrimination and intolerance through platforms such as Black@TP and LatinX@TP.
To further support the #breakthebias campaign, Teleperformance in Portugal created a gender-neutral inclusive language guide as a small yet crucial step in helping others embrace intersectionality. When we avoid gender-biased, ableist, or ageist language, we make everyone feed included and accepted, not simply tolerated.
We take care for our large LGBTQI+ community in Teleperformance. Our transgender and non-binary employees can opt to use their chosen names instead of their dead names (the names given to them at birth) that no longer define or fit who they are.
In addition, we have an extensive impact sourcing program to ensure that no one is left behind. We provide meaningful employment opportunities for impact workers, such as women with otherwise limited job prospects, like trans women, immigrants, refugees, and persons with disabilities.
Teleperformance in Argentina has worked with various organizations that help us connect to trans communities across the country. This recruitment program has been life-changing for trans women in Argentina. The life expectancy of transgender people in the country ranges from about 34 to 41 years due to the discrimination and violence they face, while about 90 to 95% of their trans population don’t have formal employment.
By working with these organizations, we can help provide jobs for those looking for legal and safe employment. Watch Noelia Urbano (Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Development, Communications, and Engagement for the Southern Cone) discuss our inclusive work environment efforts that give trans women in Argentina a better quality of life.
Let us work together to break the bias on gender equality, intersectionality, and women empowerment. Read “Each Word Matters,” the inclusive language guide created by Teleperformance in Portugal below. To learn more about Teleperformance’s #womenleadingchange movement, click here.