Sansiri announced today that it has become the first Thai company to commit to greater LGBTI rights by signing up to the United Nations Global Standards of Conduct for Business to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Sansiri has a strong determination to build an inclusive company culture in accordance with its core values of equality and diversity. Nowhere is the effect of this policy more apparent than in the Pride month of June, when it is celebrated globally.
Sansiri’s top management from all departments were represented at the ceremony to sign the UN Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct for Business agreement, which took place at Sansiri’s new headquarters, known as Siri Campus, on Sukhumvit Soi 77.
On hand at the commitment signing ceremony from Sansiri were Mr. Apichart Chutrakul (Chief Executive Officer), Mr. Srettha Thavisin (President) and Mr. Wanchak Buranasiri (Chief Finance Officer). Also in attendance were the Thailand representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – Thailand Team Leader, Mr. Badar Farrukh and from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Resident Representative, Mr. Renaud Meyer, showing their support for Sansiri’s commitment as well as to encourage other businesses to follow suit. By adopting the UN Standards, Sansiri is the first company in Thailand to join 200 other global companies which include Microsoft, Google, the Coca-Cola Company, Netflix and Nike; collectively being active agents for positive change.
The UN Standards of Conduct for Business, developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, promotes five business principles that Sansiri is committed to implement in the workplace, marketplace and community.
- Respect the human rights of LGBTI people in all operations and business relationships
- Eliminate discrimination against LGBTI employees in the workplace
- Provide support for LGBTI employees by providing a positive, affirmative environment that promotes dignity.
- Prevent other human rights violations arising from discrimination against LGBTI suppliers, distributors, customers or other business partners.
- Act in the public sphere. This can include public advocacy, collective action, social dialogue, or financial and in-kind support for organisations advancing LGBTI rights.
“Sansiri is proud to be backing the UN Standards of Conduct. A sound corporate culture should include respect for human rights and eliminating workplace discrimination. We believe in people’s equal rights and opportunities. By adopting a gender diversity and inclusivity policy, Sansiri communicates our messages to all groups of people, and all of them are part of our family. From a recruitment point of view, we have always wanted to have the best people on board at Sansiri. If we don’t take into account different pools of talent and advocate equality and inclusivity, then we are not going to offer the best properties and services to our clients. We need to reach out as much as possible to make Sansiri a truly inclusive organization,” says Mr. Srettha Thavisin, President of Sansiri Plc.
“Gender equality and inclusivity is also a worthwhile business imperative, with studies showing that LGBTI inclusive workplaces perform better financially, do better than companies that do not adopt LGBTI inclusive practices, attract customers who care about equality, and find it easier to attract and retain talent. Employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, express greater job satisfaction at companies where these practices are in place”, said Thavisin.
“At Sansiri, all employees are protected from gender discrimination in the workplace thanks to an ongoing training programs and practices on diversity and inclusion for the company’s employees, managerial staff, including sales staff and on-site personnel. The training introduces equal opportunity and non-discriminatory practices to be applied to all levels of engagements with customers, partners, third-party suppliers, vendors and stakeholders”, said Thavisin.
Sansiri’s move to adopt the UN Standards is rooted in the company’s core business philosophy of “Made for Life”, which inspires Sansiri’s Pride month campaign, which, this year, is on the theme of “Made for Everyone…Everyone is Family”. The campaign reinforces the compassion, equality and care with which Sansiri embraces its employees, customers, business partners and members of the community – as if they were ‘family’ members of their own.
Sansiri’s LGBTI Pride campaign aims to promote gender awareness and advocacy. For the entire month of pride, Sansiri will be adding the vivid color scheme of the LGBTI rainbow flag to the company’s iconic navy-blue logo, as well as online activities and social media campaigns for awareness in all its online and digital communications internally and externally. An online sign-up will also be sent out to all 4,000 staff for their commitment to eliminate discrimination towards LGBTI people.
At the company’s headquarters, Siri Campus, as well as Sansiri properties across Bangkok, at THE LINE Phahonyothin Park, Siri Place Ratchapruk-346 and Kawa HAUS, the rainbow theme, in June, will brighten Bangkok with vibrant art installation murals inviting all to engage in the campaign by taking a signature selfie, hash tagging, #SansiriPride. Face masks adorned with the LGBTI Pride’s rainbow stripes will also be worn by staff and distributed to the public while supplies last.
“Sansiri Backyard at T77 is a co-growing community for sustainable urban living on 15-rai of land with organic fruits and vegetables that inspires people to improve their quality of life and well-being. During the month of Pride, visitors can harvest and take-home fruits and vegetables, with some in the colors of the rainbow for their loved ones. Upon entry to the garden, the public will be greeted with a sustainably themed art installation, “There’s always a rainbow at the end of every rain”, designed using organic and genderless materials such as fabrics with natural dyes. Hoping to inspire and give strength to people to get through this together and there is always a light and a rainbow at the end of the storm”, said Thavisin
Siri House, Sansiri’s lifestyle & cultural hub on Somkid Road will also have an array of Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) hosting online-streaming Pride inspired ‘Stay at Home’ activities and content for those to show their unique characteristic in each workshop.
As Sansiri has been a pioneer to apply the UN Standards of Conduct to its corporate life, establishing a safe, comfortable, inclusive workplace – it has taken a further initiative to introduce its gender neutral restrooms at on the ground floor of all its building at Siri Campus, which can be accessed by all regardless of a person’s gender identity, in an attempt to remove any vestiges of the social stigma once attached to gender issues.
Most importantly, as part of its commitment for equality, Sansiri is making home ownership and starting a family more accessible to LGBTI customers by partnering with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Kasikornbank (KBank), Government Savings Bank (GSB) and United Overseas Bank (UOB). The partnership helps pave the way for LGBTI couples to be able to secure a joint home mortgage loan for their new home more conveniently. Additionally, Sansiri is making it financially easier for LGBTI couples to own their own home during these tough times by paying their monthly mortgage payments for the first 24 months.
“Sansiri is always at the forefront of providing everyone in its ‘family’, that consists of its employees, customers, partners and community with the best in quality, services and respect. By signing the commitment to adopt the UN Standards of Conduct for Business, we are also making a pledge in providing equal and fair treatment for all, and further eliminating discrimination and harassment on LGBTI people, working everyday bettering our communities”, stated Thavisin.