This Is How PhonePe Is Promoting Diversity And Inclusion Of Its PWD Employees

"As a part of our continued efforts to build the D&I charter for the PWD pool, we have focused on inclusive recruitment strategies."


1. What kind of initiatives has PhonePe taken for aiding employees with disabilities?

At PhonePe, building an inclusive workplace means valuing employees for their strengths, uniqueness, and talent over any physical limitations. When we launched the Diversity & Inclusion initiative in March 2021, instead of making it merely about numbers or meeting our hiring targets, we focused on being an equal-opportunity employer while building an inclusive workplace where everybody feels like they belong.

The below-mentioned elements are a part of creating a suitable ecosystem for people from the disability pool at PhonePe:

· Equal opportunity policy – It highlights PhonePe's commitment to being an equal opportunity employer. People from all backgrounds, and lived experiences are welcome to join as per capability & skillset match without any bias

·Infrastructure support to ensure people with varied disabilities can work independently in our offices -

· This includes accessibility considerations as per NBC guidelines

· Training & sensitization of support staff

· Visitor provisioning

· Reasonable accommodation: Based on the requirement of the employee (this option is not limited to just PWD), whether it is due to a disability or medical condition, PhonePe supports them in ergonomic considerations, office tools & systems as per need, and provides accommodation facilities as well.

2. How do you ensure your employees and the work culture are supportive of PWD employees?

At PhonePe, we are building an inclusive environment through education and conversations. We have a regular calendar of interactions, workshops, movie screenings, and manager sensitization to help remove any mental barriers. Thus, making it more accessible, and a healthy work environment for all. As a part of this, we have also organized multiple sign language workshops from time to time where PhonePe employees participate in interactive sessions and learn how to communicate with their peers. We have also put together a panel discussion with members of the PWD community to give PhonePe-rs access to supportive ecosystems as such where they get to know the real-life experiences of navigating through careers directly from PWD.

3. What kind of initiatives have you planned internally for awareness and workplace inclusion of PWD employees?

As a part of our continued efforts to build the D&I charter for the PWD pool, we have focused on inclusive recruitment strategies. We have conducted various unconscious bias workshops to educate people managers and leaders on how to hire, retain and promote PWD people for their skills, talent, and strengths without showing any unconscious bias or judgement regarding disabilities. We also have regular awareness sessions on the best workplace practices where we have external speakers from different organizations working in the PWD space to educate our leaders and managers on the right hiring strategies to provide a comfortable and positive experience to potential candidates from the PWD pool.

4. How many PWD employees do you currently have? Across what roles would you have PWD employees at PhonePe?

We currently have 25+ PhonePe-rs from the PWD pool. Currently, we have PhonePe-rs from the PWD pool across Customer Experience, Facilities, HR, Finance, and IT teams.

6. What kind of hiring practices you wish to put in place for hiring talent from PWD category?

PhonePe’ s policies are consistent across the company; however, we are focusing on sourcing talent from the PWD pool. We are doing this through partnerships with various organizations and agencies that specialize in hiring candidates from the PWD pool.

6. Pls share an anecdote of any PhonePe PWD employee

Ronak C Kotak, Customer Support Executive at PhonePe shares his thoughts, “I am originally from Kolkata, I speak Gujarati, and I’ve come to Bangalore for work. I was diagnosed with Retina Blastoma at the age of three and had only 25% vision in the left eye until 2006, after which, I lost 100% vision due to an accident. So, I’m what people call ‘late-blind’. Apart from the instant shift to a different world; since I lost full vision in grade six, I also had issues completing my studies. I moved to a school for the blind, I turned to braille over print books, and I learned to rely on a cane for mobility. Later, I joined a computer training course which helped me complete my secondary and higher secondary education. I also completed my graduation in Accounting (Hons). Over a period of time, I built my skillsets in BPO and customer service. Today, I am a customer support executive at PhonePe where I interact with customers daily via calls and emails. I’m interested in the world of math, so I handle all my banking accounts on my own, and in my free time, I follow the stock market as well.

When I joined PhonePe, I appreciated the buddy system that we have. This buddy who is assigned to me familiarised me with the office premises, my manager and trainer showed me the ropes at work, and they are always a call away for any assistance/queries I may have. All of this and the customized induction process & training helped me know my surroundings, meet new people at the office, and settle well into the role. I rely on a screen reader for my role, and I’m given the freedom to work at my pace without micro-management which I feel will help in my career growth as well. I’m also provided with cab facilities to work from the office every day and this makes my commute seamless.

Personally speaking, because of my vision impairment, my main challenges are mostly mobility related. When I join any company, in the initial stages, it is important for me to understand the environment to navigate through and get used to it. PhonePe has designed the office with tactile ground patterns or unique non-slip surfaces to assist visually impaired employees like me. It acts as a directional cue for navigating office areas independently and safely. They have also incorporated braille signs to break communication barriers. I can independently use the elevator, meeting rooms, and other common areas at the office with the help of these braille signs at multiple touchpoints.”

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