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Axis Bank Announces ‘ComeAsYouAre’; a Charter of Policies and Practices

In Business
September 07, 2021

Axis Bank, in line with its ‘DilSeOpen’ philosophy today announced #ComeAsYouAre, a charter of policies and practices for their employees and
customers from the LGBTQIA+ community. With these initiatives, Axis Bank becomes one of the first Banks in India to take such steps to promote and implement diversity, equity and inclusion.

In a historic verdict on 6th September 2018 on Section 377, the honorable Supreme Court of India ruled that all sexual relationships between consenting adults in private should be decriminalized. Honorable Justice Indu Malhotra who was a part of the 5 member bench famously stated “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”

In keeping with the same spirit of the Apex Court and the Bank’s wider ESG aligned commitments, it has initiated of #ComeAsYouAre- a charter of policies and practices that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and for its customers. Inclusive initiatives for the employees are:

  • Employees can list their partners for Mediclaim Benefits:
    All employees can list their partners for mediclaim benefits irrespective of gender, sex or marital status
  • Employees can dress in accordance with their gender/ gender expression:
    We recognize that employees could have a gender or gender expression that’s different from their sex assigned at birth. They can choose to dress in accordance with their gender/ gender expression
  • Employees can use a restroom of their choice:
    Employees can choose to use the restroom of their choice in accordance with their gender expression/gender identity. We have initiated all gender restrooms at our large offices
  • Employees have a redressal process:
    Axis Bank has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy and a Human Rights Policy that offers redressal to challenges faced by employees from this community For customers, the Bank has embarked on its journey to expand its inclusive banking offerings, and will roll out more of such initiatives in a phased manner. Effective from 20th September 2021, customers will be able to opt for the following at our branches:
  • Can open a Joint Savings Bank Account or a Term Deposit with their same sex partner
  • Can add ‘Mx’ as a title: 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.
  • Can make their same sex partner a nominee in their Savings or Term Deposit Account at Axis Bank

Commenting on this initiative, Rajesh Dahiya, Executive Director, Axis Bank, said “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.”

“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.