Sensitisation Program at Novotel, Chennai

A sensitisation program was conducted at Novotel, Siruseri on 20th June, 2017. The program was organized by PeriFerry, with Prof. Shankar Ganesh and Swetha as the guest speakers.

Prof. Shankar Ganesh is a faculty in the Department of Business Administration at Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT). As someone who identifies himself as asexual and has worked with different communities in the space of gender and sexual orientation, he was ideal for this program. He spoke about diverse workplaces and ensured that he always held the audience’s attention with his interactive session.

Swetha Sudhakar, the other speaker for the day, is from Born2win – a transgender led organisation working towards empowerment of the community through education and employment. As a transgender herself, she shared her life experiences with the crowd and also deliberated the positive changes that employment opportunities would have on the community.

The program is the first in a series of workshops that PeriFerry intends to conduct at various workplaces, aimed at creating awareness about the benefits of having a dynamic and diverse working environment. PeriFerry aims at sensitising companies in order to enable them to become more forthcoming in hiring talent from the transgender community apart from understanding their struggles and hardships.

“As an organization, for us diversity and inclusion is also part of our success. It is key for our growth in the hotel. We’ve come a long way with women at Accor generation by employing and increasing our female ratios within hotels. While there’re still challenges, we are in the right direction. Next step towards this is towards gender diversity, towards employing transgender people at hotels. We’ve taken a small step towards this in looking at employing a couple of people at the hotel.
Thanks to PeriFerry who’s come onboard for us in assisting in bringing those people into the hotels. We’ve looked at a couple of people to employ at the property. Today we had a great session in sensitising our team and making them understand how important it is and what value it has as a human being, as a transgender and making them sensitised in this environment to allow them to come and work as normal human beings to work with us. I think it’s a great effort for us to make this happen. We are looking forward certainly to making this a success and bring about employment within diversity inclusions.”

-Mr. Ajay Sampige – General Manager, Novotel Chennai SIPCOT

In case you’re interested in conducting such workshops in your workplace, do reach out to us either on Facebook ( or drop an email to us at

Photos: Steevez Rodriguez
Written by: Nanditha Ravindar