By Deepa Narasimhan, Senior Manager-Inclusion & Diversity
MiQ is committed to being an inclusive and diverse company throughout all of our offices around the globe. Our team in India wants to inspire real change and, while that is a challenging goal, they have created programs and projects to benefit MiQers as well as the community.
Here are a few of the initiatives our India office has created to fulfill that goal.
Learning Labs – Unlock Adtech with MiQ
Students in India are looking for new opportunities to build strong online portfolios and MiQ in India is looking to educate the next generation about the adtech and programmatic world. Put both of these goals together and you have Learning Labs, a ten-week training program that provides hands-on experiences to a diverse group of applicants. The Learning Lab initiative hopes to attract female students in India, as well as people who are looking to return to the workforce and LGBTQ candidates.
Since the pandemic started, many educational opportunities for students have been put on hold and they have been looking for ways to learn something new to make themselves stand out. We introduced our Learning Labs program to universities and students in collaboration with AFH (Aspire for Her) in a webinar that was attended by 950 students across various universities. Students in the program not only learn about what MiQ does and the roles of engineers, analysts and traders but also skills like networking and time management. We had 40 students participate in the first Learning Labs program.
Throughout the program, students build their professional experiences by learning through webinars, info sessions and development workshops. At the end of the ten weeks, students receive a certificate of completion and a letter about the courses with their scores. If the program has sparked an interest in employment at MiQ, students are encouraged to apply for open positions and their application will be prioritized.
Sign language program
Building inclusion in the workplace is an ever-growing goal of MiQ in India.
We realized that hard of hearing or Deaf people can struggle to not only get jobs but, once they are working, can have problems communicating. So, we wanted to help MiQers to learn the language. India has over five million Deaf people, which is the total population of some countries, such as Norway, Ireland, Costa Rica.
To help create a better culture of inclusivity, we’ve organized Virtual Basic Indian Sign Language classes conducted by EnAble India. Participants learn sign language and awareness about Deaf people and Deaf culture, so they can contribute to the community.
The program, called Signlusion, includes a mentorship aspect where team members are paired with 30 Deaf students to interact with and learn together. This program helps to build awareness towards deaf inclusion.
For International Women’s Day, we held a month-long event titled, ‘Choose to challenge’, where we helped to raise awareness of bias, celebrate women’s achievements and take action for equality. Over 450 participants joined various sessions, including a session from Viva Asmelash on how being true to oneself intersects with championing and advocating for others.
The WiQ India team is building a vision through mindful leadership, collaborating with women in tech (WiT), industry partnerships and knowledge sharing platforms.
As well as specific workplace initiatives, MiQ India also has a strong culture of corporate social responsibility where we provide time and resources to things that help the wider community. We give back in many ways. Recently, this has revolved around our response to the Covid pandemic.
During the second wave of the pandemic, the CSR Team India responded quickly with a team of volunteers to identify critical areas that would benefit from aid. We decided to provide medical support and daily essential support (for groceries, safety kits) for underprivileged communities.
During phase one of this initiative, we provided essentials for people with disabilities over a period of three months through the NGO SmileysIndia. We also partnered with an NGO called Sangama to provide daily grocery kits for 150+ sexual/gender minorities whose livelihoods depend on seeking alms, sex work, daily wages and musical performance. We also are proud to have provided ‘happiness kits’ containing nutritious food items, immunity boosters, and learning materials for children from underprivileged communities in partnership with Akshayapatra.
The team is now in phase two where they are helping unemployed people and giving educational support to underprivileged children.
We are excited to continue to invest in people and the community to make MiQ in India a more inclusive and diverse place to work.