Photo: Facebook via Chenio N Odyuo
A new startup in Chennai is helping trans people find steady employment.
Neelam Palrecha founded Peri Ferry in the southern Indian state, Tamil Nadu. It’s a non-profit organization that pairs trans people with inclusive employers.
‘We target companies that have about 30 employees as it’s easier to sensitise smaller workspaces,’ she told The New Indian Express.
‘We particularly encourage young transgenders because the number of educated candidates is highest in the 18-28 age group.’
Regina is one of Peri Ferry’s clients who despite having an engineering degree has struggled to find full-time work. When she does manage to get to the interview stage, she’s met with looks of puzzlement as her name and gender do not match what’s on her resume.
‘They think it’s less risky to appoint a ‘normal’ man or woman to do the same job,’ she said.
‘While there are several non-profit organisations working for transgender welfare, Peri Ferry has managed to penetrate all networks in a very short time.’
Peri Ferry works because it understands education is key to finding work and it always follows up with candidates after they go for an interview.
‘Soft skills training is no different with our clientele. Some need to improvise their communication skills and others have to work on corporate etiquette,’ said Peri Ferry’s soft skills trainer Nanditha Ravindar.
‘One of our clients felt extremely intimidated as she had walked into a corporate space with cabinets and ACs for the first time.’
Peri Ferry is currently self-funded from money its own employees put into it.
‘We’re looking for professionals who could work on our website and, perhaps, with the arrangement of the sensitisation programmes in various locations,’ Palrecha said.