Gender is no bender here. Call centre firms in the National Capital Region are recruiting transgender employees in a big way.
Angel, 30, is one such transgender employed with Convergys as a voice process executive.
"They selected me on the basis of my skills. My office is pretty cool about my sexuality. They don't stop me from dressing up as a woman," said Angel.
Ashish Garg, director, HR, Convergys said, "We have five transgenders on board. We have created the most secure work environment for them."
Other BPOs are also open to the idea.
Ritu Singh, CEO, NIIT Smartserve said her company would love to hire transgenders as they are "creative and sensitive" and therefore, "most suitable for customer service jobs".
"We would never turn down someone because of his/her sexuality," said Singh.
IBM Global Process Services, Gurgaon, has a special group that ensures equal treatment for all.
Kalpana Veeraraghavan, workforce diversity manager, IBM India said, "We observe zero tolerance on harassment based on sexual inclination."
Despite the initiatives, employment opportunities still remain sparse in the absence of a national employment policy for transgenders.
Educated transgenders often end up disappointed. There are many firms who refuse to employ such people.
Ashwin Mehra, 28, a transgender who is a linguist trained in US was recently refused employment at a NCR-based BPO.
Mehra believes that he has been rejected because he is a transgender.
"I cleared all the interview rounds. The interviewees were very impressed and told me that they wouldn't be able to find someone as competent as me in Delhi," said Mehra.
When HT called up the BPO's HR executive enquiring about their hiring policy in regard to transgenders, she shared Mehra's example.
"Mehra speaks 11 foreign languages and has excellent communication skills. We will create the most conducive work environment for people like him."
Yet, Mehra was declined the job after a week's wait.
"Although the HR was very positive, the security personnel forced me in to the CCTV room for an interrogation," says Mehra.