Building a better society

Sansiri celebrates Pride Month by being a model of inclusivity

Srettha Thavisin, CEO/president of Sansiri, left, and Renaud Meyer, resident representative of UNDP Thailand, are working to promote equality. Photos courtesy of Sansiri

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTI community and commemorate the ongoing pursuit of equal justice.

Championing its cause through the years has been property developer Sansiri PCL, who has actively promoted gender equality within its own organisation since its founding.

Sansiri further demonstrated its unwavering support for LGBTIs by becoming the first Thai company to join the United Nations Global Standards of Conduct for Business to eliminate discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and queers.

To celebrate Pride Month, Sansiri is championing its "Live Equally" campaign that dovetails on last year's successful "Everyone Is Family" campaign in which the company partnered with banks to offer all types of home loans to their LGBTI clientele.

It is a timely event in which it joined hands with UNDP Thailand and 15 leading partners in the fields of lifestyle, sports, banking, EV charging and SME businesses to launch the month-long event of festivities.

Sansiri will be organising activities to promote equality, not just for the LGBTI communities but society in general, with art installations, podcasts and more. Encouraging the practice of equality in society under the "Circle Of Equality" theme will serve to reflect the symbol of equality during Pride Month.

Sansiri PR

Sansiri and the UNDP share the vision of "equality in every dimension, embracing diversity and acceptance in society", which the company hopes to actively promote.

Srettha Thavisin, Sansiri's CEO and president, said the goal is to play a significant role in helping encourage Thai society to embrace the LGBTI communities and by so doing create equality in the rest of society.

"Besides broad acceptance of LGBTI, Sansiri believes that equality should be practised across the board. We hold gender equality in high regards in the workplace and advocate policies in the organisation that benefit everyone regardless of race or gender. We believe people should be offered equal access to whatever is needed to improve their life, which includes the desire for everyone to own a home," said Srettha.

He said Sansiri has collaborated with leading bank partners such as Siam Commercial Bank in the past year to help members of the LGBTI community and others to own Sansiri homes.

Sansiri celebrates Pride Month in June. Sansiri PR

"Covid-19 has brought up a new set of challenges for all of us. We need to specially emphasise the need to support and offer equal opportunities for people who have been hard hit by the pandemic. We need to collectively work to accomplish this because all sectors of our society are involved. This includes the equal right to have access to investments to generate an income for everyone at all levels of society. For society to truly practise equality, it must first start from within the organisation.

"That is why I would like to thank our 15 partners that have come together for this campaign who see the value of equality and who are helping to push this movement forward. We hope that this cooperation will become a spark for other organisations to eventually open up and accept diversity in our society and create equality in every dimension of their work until it has become the norm in our society."

Srettha said Thai society today had become more open to embracing individuality, thus paving the path to diversity and equality. This, he believes, is a step in the right direction as more businesses realise the importance of equality.

"I believe it is our duty as home builders to provide the right environment for both our current and potential staff and clients. This is what drives us to make our campaign bigger and better each year. Our second campaign 'Live Equally' is not just about equality for the LGBTI as it also includes people from all walks of life.

"This can include income inequality or the inability to get access to buying a home or a loan for investment. The pandemic has exacerbated inequality that was already prevalent in our society. Nevertheless, it is our duty to provide people with what they can afford. As we say at Sansiri, our product has to be reachable, which means homes should be priced at an attractive, affordable rate, maybe smaller in size but a home all the same for everyone. This has always been our philosophy."

Sansiri celebrates Pride Month with art installations and activities. Sansiri PR

Srettha said that he advocates for people from all walks of life to get vaccinated during the pandemic, without bias and discrimination.

He took umbrage at reports that people of influence were able to be vaccinated ahead of the more needy.

"This self-centred attitude annoys me," said the straight-talking executive. "It makes my blood boil to see individuals cutting the queue to receive their jab. Not only are they undeserving but they go on to post themselves receiving it on social media. This behaviour is totally unacceptable to me.

"So this ties in with our campaign of leading our lives upholding the principles of equality, for both LGBTI communities and society at large."

Renaud Meyer, resident representative of UNDP Thailand, said promoting gender equality, diversity and social inclusion is a key component of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of UNDP's mandate, making the "Live Equally" campaign all the more significant.

He said Sansiri is one of UNDP Thailand's strongest partners from the business community largely because of its commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

He believes their exemplary dedication towards the cause will strongly encourage and influence other businesses to follow suit.

"Sansiri has shown strong commitment in promoting LGBTI rights not only within their company but also in its supply chain, partners and the community in which they operate in. That is for UNDP Thailand an interesting model and a very good way of championing the issue of LGBTI inclusion."

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