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Australia’s Top Organisations For LGBTI Inclusion Announced

Professional Services firm EY has been named Australia’s 2018 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, hosted today by ACON’s Pride in Diversity – the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

More than 700 business leaders, diversity champions, HR professionals and many more actively working on LGBTI inclusion came together at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney to celebrate the results of Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI); a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking instrument that assesses workplaces in the work and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

In 2018, for the first time, there was significant shift in the makeup of top employers. Traditionally dominated by financial and professional services, this year saw representation from various levels of government (Australian Taxation Office and Brisbane City Council), retail (Woolworths), higher education (RMIT University), energy & resources (AGL Energy) and religious organisations (Uniting).

 Twelve organisations were awarded Gold Employer status, with an additional four being awarded Platinum for the longevity of their high performance spanning at least four of the last five years (Westpac, LendLease, Accenture, Commonwealth Bank).

This year’s awards were attended by a record number of CEOs and Australian business leaders, including Qantas CEO and Pride In Diversity co-patron, Alan Joyce, and Luke Sayers, CEO of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, who picked up this year’s CEO of the Year Award for his role in LGBTI inclusion.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs (which incorporates Pride in Diversity, Pride in Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing) Dawn Hough said: “The AWEI has seen remarkable growth over the first eight years of its life; this year we see the most significant change in the diversity of our top employers and a much higher growth in participation of our small employers which we are delighted about”.

The AWEI saw 135 employers across Australia participate this year (both small and large employer indices), a 16 per cent increase on 2017 participation. The employee survey attached to the index received 23,130 responses, an increase of 38 per cent. Participation by small employers rose by 120 per cent this year with Key Assets, The Children’s Services Provider (Australia) taking out Small Employer of the Year Award.

“ACON congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion,” Ms Hough added.

Pride Inclusion Programs will next celebrate LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport with the inaugural Australian Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne on 19 June. Held at the Showtime Events Centre, the awards will honour national and state sporting organisations, clubs and individuals as it showcases the results of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI) – the national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport.  The event will be hosted by renowned Australian sports journalist, Tracey Holmes, and attended by Pride in Sport co-patrons Alex Blackwell and Daniel Kowalski, along with several other high profile athletes.

For more information on ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, go to www.prideinclusionprograms.com.au

2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards Recipients

Award Recipient
Employer of the Year EY
LGBTI Employee Network of the Year Prism, EnergyAustralia
CEO of the Year Luke Sayers, PwC
Platinum Employers LendLease, Accenture, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Gold Employers ANZ, Uniting, AGL Energy, Australian Taxation Office, Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd, Brisbane City Council, Clayton Utz, RMIT University, Deloitte Australia, Deutsche Bank Australia, Woolworths, EY
Small Employer Key Assets, The Children’s Services Provider (Australia)
Most Improved Employer TAL
Trans/Gender Diverse Inclusion Uniting
External Media Campaign Hold Tight, ANZ
Executive Leadership James Collins, PwC
Network Leader of the Year Mark Hodgson, Alcoa
Out Role Model Angus Lonergan, YMCA NSW
Sapphire Inspire Kimberly Olsen, Uniting
The Sally Webster Ally Award Melissa Tandy, ANZ

For more information please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: +61 (02) 9206 2044   M: +61 (0)428 477 042

COMMONWEALTH BANK’S LGBTI EMPLOYEE NETWORK IGNITES INCLUSION

STAR OBSERVER – July 8, 2017

IN just five years, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has gone from having no formal approach to inclusion for its LGBTI employees to achieving gold status as one of Australia’s top ten employers at the 2017 Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI) awards, with its LGBTI employee network Unity also winning best network for a second consecutive year.

CBA’s subsidiary, Bankwest, also ranked as a gold employer in the 2017 AWEI.

“Leaps and bounds” is how Unity co-chair Lucy Riggall describes the progress made by CBA in the past few years.

“Five years ago I would never have envisaged speaking to CBA’s senior leader team about the issues our LGBTI employees faced then. AWEI’s recognition is real validation of what has been achieved internally in such a short time,” she said.

This sentiment is echoed by David Brine, who shares the chair of Unity with Riggall. The pivotal moment for him in becoming an LGBTI advocate at CBA was when he attended his first AWEI luncheon back in 2012.

“I looked across a room of 250 people representing many major Australian organisations,” he said.

“I could see the other Australian banks, and the global banks, but I couldn’t see CBA.”

Following this experience, Brine raised the issue with a senior executive of Bank about why CBA, given its size and influence in Australia, was not represented officially at the event.

“CBA is known as a great place to work, but at that time there was no discussion about issues affecting LGBTI employees, which meant that we were probably losing talented employees who were unsure whether they could speak freely, or we were just not attracting them in the first place,” he said.

This initial trigger gave these underrepresented employees visibility, and the result was the creation of Unity, arguably now CBA’s most motivated and passionate employee network.

Its mandate then—and still—includes advocating and facilitating a culture of inclusion and respect, regardless of sexuality, gender and expression.

It has also played a key role in raising awareness of LGBTI people and issues to support CBA as a ‘safe place’ for LGBTI employees, and to enhance its external reputation among LGBTI people in the community.

Unity has run training for over 3,000 members, champions and allies across CBA, and enjoys the committed involvement of senior leaders.

Riggall believes the driving force behind Unity’s incredibly committed people is that LGBTI employees in Australia and many other parts of the world where CBA operates still face legal discrimination.

“The passion comes from a really personal space. We don’t have equality in society yet and the fight is still on. I was a bystander in terms of advocacy until I realised I was going to have a family, and I wanted my child to know that having two mums was okay,” she said.

The AWEI recognitions have been standout milestones for the three years Brine and Riggall have chaired Unity. For Riggall, another important achievement was the support provided to three bank employees who transitioned in the past year.

“One of these employees has a great network in the transgender community, and she says CBA is now known to be very supportive of people transitioning. This reputation in the market underscores how genuinely inclusive CBA has become,” she said.

Brine and Riggall are passing the leadership torch from July to Nicole Brennan and Lis Brown, who will guide Unity on the next part of its journey. This will include further promoting the network in CBA’s operations in Asia, Africa, Europe and the US.

CBA’s Hong Kong branch recently announced it had achieved the Gold Standard in the 2017 HK LGBT+ Workplace Inclusion Index, ranking eighth for its focus on diversity and inclusion, up from 15th  in the previous 2015 HK index.

Read more about CBA’s approach to inclusion and AWEI details.

ANZ, Bankwest, UWA and more win at Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards

OUT IN PERTH – 25 May, 2017

ANZ has been awarded 2017 Employer of the Year at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, a special event held in Sydney by the AIDS Council of New South Wales’ (ACON) national not-for-profit program, Pride in Diversity.

The top award takes prime position on an annual list of Australia’s best employers as assessed by the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) which measures and evaluated LGBTI inclusivity in the workplace.

Speaking at the ceremony, patron and former High Court Justice Michael Kirby said the growing success of outreach to the business, sporting and general community is heartening.

“It is part of the explanation for the changing attitudes of Australians of all walks of life towards LGBTIQ equality and justice,” Kirby said.

“In cities, regional, remote and rural Australia, things are changing.”

116 employers took party in the AWEI assessment this year, a 38% increase in participation as compared to last year.

ACON’s Pride Inclusion Program Director Dawn Hough said the AWEI has seen remarkable growth.

“ACON congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion,” Hough said.

The University of Western Australia was one of only four employers who were awarded Platinum Employer status, which recognises organisations that have ranked within the top ten for a minimum of four years within the last five year period, or have been acknowledged as Employer of the Year twice within that time frame. UWA was joined by Accenture, Goldman Sachs and PwC.

“The University has demonstrated a significant commitment towards LGBTIQA+ inclusivity for more than a decade and will continue to do so,” UWA’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Kent Anderson said.

“People should be free to go to work, complete their studies and be a part of the community in a supportive positive, fair and inclusive environment.

“UWA aspires to be included among the world’s top 50 universities by 2050 and a demonstrable commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to that.”

Bankwest were among the nine employers who were awarded Gold status, for ranking in the top 10 during the previous year. EY, Macquarie Bank, Commonwealth Bank, The Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office shared the title.

Bankwest Managing Director Rowan Munchenberg was at the Sydney ceremony and said he was very proud of Bankwest’s achievement of gold status.

“The establishment of a culture that embraces diversity ultimately helps us support and address the diverse needs and expectations of our customers,” he said.

“I’ve only been at Bankwest for a relatively short period of time but I’ve seen again and again how much colleagues are valued in the open and inclusive working environment which we encourage,” he said.

“I’m proud of the ongoing work in this important space with the aim of ensuring Bankwest is an LGBTI employer of choice.”

Australia’s Highest Ranking Small Employer For LGBTI Inclusion

LOTL – 22 May 2017

Children’s services provider, Key Assets has been named Australia’s Highest Ranking Small Employer for LGBTI inclusion at the 2017 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Awards for the third consecutive year. This year they also took home the highly honourable ‘Gold Award.’

Key Assets’ Executive Director, Rob Ryan said the award is great recognition for their continued focus on supporting LGBTI people in the workplace.

“Our organisation is built around an identity which values the contribution that people make to the lives of others, and a belief that people are more than labels. We are proud to be associated with a movement committed to valuing diversity in the workplace,” Mr. Ryan said. “We are thrilled to be the recipient of the Gold Award and Highest Ranking Small Employer Award for LGBTI workplace inclusion for the second year in a row.

“This inclusion happens naturally in our workplaces and to have this recognised publicly through the AWEI benchmarking tool is great. I would like to thank our employees, carers and young people for their continuing efforts in communicating our commitment to diversity and inclusion for the LGBTI community. The next 12 months will see us continue to grow our commitment and further develop LGBTI inclusion in the workplace and the community.”

Can they make it four years in a row? Fingers crossed!

Australia’s Top Organisations for LGBTI Inclusion Announced

ANZ has been named Australia’s 2017 Employer of the Year for the first time at the sell-out Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, a special event held today in Sydney by ACON’s national not-for-profit program, Pride in Diversity.

The Employer of the Year heads an annual list of top employers for LGBTI inclusion determined by an assessment against the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a benchmarking instrument that evaluates LGBTI inclusivity against a rigorous and comprehensive set of measures, in addition to a body of supporting evidence submitted by the employer as part of the evaluation process.

Over 640 business leaders, diversity and HR professionals, and representatives from LGBTI employee groups attended the Pride in Diversity luncheon and awards ceremony at Doltone House, which this year incorporated the results of the inaugural Pride in Sport Index (PSI) and featured keynote speakers former High Court justice Michael Kirby and cricketer Alex Blackwell.

As well as being named Employer of the Year, ANZ was also acknowledged for its work in inclusion of transgender people and ANZ’s Pride Network Specialist Dave Beks was recognised with the award for Out Role Model.

This year’s awards featured the new category of Platinum Employer, which recognises organisations that have ranked within the top ten for a minimum of four years within the last five year period, or have been acknowledged as Employer of the Year twice within that time frame. The inaugural awardees of Platinum Employer status are Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The University of Western Australia and Accenture.

Ten organisations that achieved the highest ranking within the past year were awarded Gold Employer status:  AGL Energy, Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, Bankwest, Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank, EY, Macquarie Bank and NSW Police Force. NSW Police Force also received the honour of being the first organisation to receive an award for the inclusion of intersex people.

Ten other organisations were awarded Silver Employer status and a further 34 were recognised with Bronze Employer Status.

EnergyAustralia picked up the achievement award for most improved employer and the Commonwealth Bank’s Unity network was named LGBTI Employee Network of the Year.

A record number of CEOs and C-Suite leaders attended this year’s awards luncheon, including Deloitte CEO Cindy Hook, who was recognised at CEO of the Year for her role in LGBTI inclusion.

Presenting at the ceremony, Pride in Diversity Patron Michael Kirby said: “The ever growing success of the outreach to the business, sporting and general community is most heartening. It is part of the explanation for the changing attitudes of Australians of all walks of life towards LGBTIQ equality and justice. In cities, regional, remote and rural Australia, things are changing.”

The AWEI saw 116 employers across Australia participate this year – a 38% increase compared to 2016. The employee survey attached to the index received 16,759 responses. By participating in the AWEI and the employee survey, employers are able to benchmark their practice against other organisations and obtain annual data on the impact initiatives are having on their employees.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs Dawn Hough said: “The AWEI has seen remarkable growth over the first seven years of its life with this year seeing the most significant growth to date.”

While there is still a long way to go, Hough said that LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, and is starting to make a mark in the sporting field as well.

“ACON congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion,” Ms Hough added.

The awards also acknowledged, for the first time, the work of Australian sporting organisations in LGBTI inclusion. Ten sporting organisations participated in the inaugural Pride in Sport Index (PSI), a world first national benchmarking instrument designed to assess LGBTI inclusivity within Australian sport.

The Australian Football League was named the inaugural winner of the PSI Organisation of the Year Award.

AFL’s Inclusion and Social Policy General Manager Tanya Hosch said: “The AFL is honoured to be recognised as a leader for LGBTI inclusion in sport. The AFL was delighted to contribute to the implementation of the PSI. The AFL found the benchmarking exercise extremely valuable as a means to review and reflect on its LGBTI inclusion policies and practices across the Australian Football industry.”

The Inclusive Club award was given to St Kilda Football Club and the Water Polo Pride Cup was recognised with the Inclusive Sports Initiative award.

David Pocock, Vice-Captain of ACT Super Rugby club The Brumbies, was acknowledged with the award for LGBTI Ally.

“It’s a real honour to win the inaugural Pride in Sport Champion Ally Award,” Mr Pocock said. “I believe that sport is at its best when it is challenging society to be more inclusive and there have been so many people involved in driving this change.

“In rugby, may I make special mention of [Pride in Sport Index Co-founder] Andrew Purchas, who has been challenging the sport to become more accepting and inclusive, and all the people who have shown leadership in this area. The support from the major sports of the Pride in Sport Index is a good example of this change. I also want to congratulate all the other winners, including the inaugural Pride in Sport Index Organisation of the Year, AFL,” Mr Pocock said.

 

2017 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards Recipients

 

Award Recipient
Employer of the Year ANZ
LGBTI Employee Network of the Year Unity, CBA
CEO of the Year Cindy Hook  – Deloitte
Platinum Employers Accenture, Goldman Sachs, PwC, University of Western Australia
Gold Employers AGL Energy, Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, Bankwest, Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank, EY, Macquarie Bank,  NSW Police Force
Small Employer Key Assets, The Children’s Services Provider (Australia)
Most Improved Employer EnergyAustralia
Transgender Inclusion ANZ
Intersex Inclusion NSW Police Force
Innovation and Engagement Medibank, I Am Better Campaign
Executive Leadership Lynn Kraus – EY
Network Leader of the Year Dane Renner – Woodside Energy Ltd
Out Role Model Dave Beks – ANZ
Sapphire Inspire Tracy Taylor – Accenture
Community Impact Jackie Braw – NSW Police Force
Training Impact Australian Federal Police
The Sally Webster Ally Award Lori Turner – Medibank
Inclusive Sports Initiative Water Polo Pride Cup
Inclusive Club St Kilda Football Club
Pride in Sport Index Organisation of the Year Australian Football League
Out Role Model  (Sport) Jason Ball – Yarra Glen Football Club
LGBTI Ally  (Sport) David Pocock – ARU Wallabies/ACT Brumbies
Inclusive Coach  (Sport) Mel Rippon – Brisbane Tritons Water Polo and Damien Hicks – Brisbane Barracudas

 

Pride Inclusion Programs, which incorporates Pride in Diversity and Pride in Sport, are programs of ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health organisation. For more information, www.prideinclusionprograms.com.au.

 

ENDS     *LGBTI – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex

 

For media enquiries:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications Officer

E: dalexander@acon.org.au | T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 | M: +61 (0)428 477 042

AUSTRALIA’S TOP 20 EMPLOYERS FOR LGBTI* EMPLOYEES ANNOUNCED

FRIDAY 20 MAY, 2016

Westpac Group has been named Australia’s 2016 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion for the first time at a special event held in Sydney by ACON’s Pride in Diversity (PID) program, a national not-for-profit employer program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

Employer of the Year heads an annual list of Top 20 employers for LGBTI inclusion determined by assessment against PID’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a benchmarking instrument that evaluates LGBTI inclusivity against a comprehensive set of measures in addition to a body of supporting evidence submitted by the employer as part of the evaluation process.

Along with some truly significant achievements in 2016 by a range of organisations ranging from banking and finance, renewables, telcos and IT, the Australian Federal Police receives the honour of being the highest performing public sector organisation.

Uniting is the highest ranking not-for-profit/charity and the NSW Police, in only their first year in the index, has achieved an 11th placed-ranking as well as receiving an award for transgender inclusion.

Presenting at the Awards Ceremony held on May 20, Patron of Pride in Diversity the Hon Michael Kirby AC said: “Once again we come together to acknowledge the progress being made in Australia in inclusion and non-discrimination in work, sport and life,”

“At occasions like this, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that ignorant and unscientific prejudice against LGBTI citizens has been overcome in our country…Unfortunately, this is not so,”

“Full equality has not been achieved in 2016. In fact there have been some notable reverses in the past year which we need to look squarely in the eyes; a clear sign that the struggle for dignity in Australia is far from over.”

Other awards at the luncheon included: LGBTI Employee Network of the Year (Commonwealth Bank’s UNITY); Innovation Award (Accenture); Highest Ranking University (The University of Western Australia); Achievement Award for Most Improved (Clayton Utz), Highest Ranking Small Employer (Key Assets – The Children’s Services Provider), Small Employer Award (Domestic Violence Service Management NSW).

Individuals acknowledged for their significant contribution to LGBTI workplace inclusion include Greg Ward, CEO Macquarie Bank (CEO of the Year); Supt Tony Crandell, NSW Police Force (Executive Leadership Award); Steve Rieniets, AGL (Regional Inclusion Champion); Brad Cooper, CEO BT Financial Group (Inclusion Champion); Melissa Tandy, ANZ (Sally Webster Ally Award); Suzi Russell-Gilford, PwC (Sapphire Award) and Rhiannon Kop, Aurizon (Out Role Model).

A Platinum Tier status has been established for the first time this year, acknowledging organisations that have either retained a top 5 position at least 4 times within the last 5 years, or achieved employer of the year twice within the last 5 years. PwC and Goldman Sachs are the first organisations to qualify for the new Platinum Tier.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs (which incorporates PID and the newly launched Pride in Sport) Dawn Hough said: “The AWEI has seen remarkable growth over the first six years of its life with this year seeing the most significant growth to date”.

There has been a 46.6% increase in AWEI participation, 125% increase in first time submissions and a 48% increase in accompanying employee survey responses (n 13,393).

Another noteworthy achievement for this year’s AWEI includes substantial growth in sector participation, including a 50% increase in private, 40% in public and 80% for Higher Education.

“While there is still a long way to go, Hough said that LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Agenda.”

Over 600 people attended the sold-out event at Doltone House in Sydney on May 20, emceed by Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham. Speakers included PID patron the Hon. Michael Kirby and Paul Zahra, PwC Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board Member and former CEO of David Jones.

“Pride in Diversity congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion.” Ms Hough added.

The Top 20 Employers for LGBTI Inclusion 2016 are:

1.    Westpac Group (Employer of the Year)

2.    Commonwealth Bank of Australia

3.    EY

=4.  Macquarie Bank

The University of Western Australia (Highest Ranking University)

6.    Uniting (Highest Ranking Charity / NFP)

7.    National Australia Bank

8.    Accenture

9.    Australian Federal Police (Highest Ranking Public Sector)

10.   Allens

11.   NSW Police Force

12.   Lendlease

13.   AGL Energy

14.   ANZ

15.   Telstra

16.   Norton Rose Fulbright

17.   Deutsche Bank

18.   IBM

19.   Bankwest

=20. Baker & McKenzie

Department of Defence

 

*LGBTI – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS FOR LGBTI INCLUSION

MONDAY 11 JULY 2016 – STAR OBSERVER

WHEN AGL Loy Yang’s General Manager Steve Rieniets heard his name announced as the 2016 AWEI Regional Inclusion Champion, his initial reaction was surprise.

“I was a bit surprised to be honest, but very proud to have won the award. I think it’s a reflection of our AGL Shine program and the great efforts by the team coordinating it that has helped our Loy Yang workforce become more aware and embrace it. I’m just one player, it’s the workforce more broadly that has allowed it to happen,” Mr Rieniets said.
Recognised for his outstanding efforts in building LGBTI inclusion across his local community and AGL more broadly, Mr Rieniets has been crucial in helping break down barriers and to the overall success ofAGL Shine.
An employee-driven network, AGL Shine was established in response to an increasing number of AGL employees seeking to achieve a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture where LGBTI employees feel they are able to be truly authentic and bring their whole self to work, and to feel safe and supported to do so.

Acknowledged as a thought leadership initiative and influential entity within the company, AGL Shine is represented by almost 200 members and allies from across the company, including regional and remote locations.

In 2015 Mr Rieniets joined AGL Shine as an ambassador and in that time he has organised and led a number of training sessions which have focused on inclusive language and behaviours, communications and engagement.

“It wasn’t until we ran some sessions on site that I became more aware of some of the issues facing LGBTI employees. Hearing first hand from guest speakers, such as Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing, talk about LGBTI in the workforce was enlightening. These sessions were very well attended and I really enjoyed educating the workplace, and myself, more broadly on issues they may not have even considered. Education across the workplace has been a key feature for me, and I hope that over the next year we can increase the awareness even more across the predominant blue collar work areas and right down to the coalface,” Mr Rieniets said.

The progress and impact of AGL Shine has encouraged AGL to publicly take a strong stance on matters that concern the LGBTI community. This year AGL pledged support for marriage equality in Australia by becoming a corporate sponsor of a national campaign and Mr Rieniets represented regional AGL workplaces when he marched in Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival.

“As a leader, I think it’s important to show your support in an active way – lead from the front and show you care about everyone, no matter who or what they are,” he said.

“I believe everyone should be treated equally. That’s first and foremost for me. I lead a large power station and a coal mine on the premise that everyone is equal, and should feel safe and valued while at work. It’s also about trying to increase awareness and change people’s attitudes that don’t belong in today’s modern workforce. People need to be treated equally, they need to feel accepted, connected, and that they belong. I think a diverse workplace is good for business. People are more productive, there’s less conflict, and this leads to better business outcomes.”

ACON’S Pride Inclusion Programs director Dawn Hough congratulated AGL on achieving the coveted Silver Tier in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) 2016 and Mr Rieniets for his regional champion award.

“Both awards are a significant achievement which reflects AGL’s commitment to LGBTI inclusion, not only within their workplace but also within the wider Australian community,” Ms Hough said.

© Star Observer 2015 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

HOW WESTPAC CAME OUT ON TOP IN LGBTI INCLUSION

THURSDAY 30 JUNE, 2016 – STAR OBSERVER

SINCE joining the Westpac Group two years ago, Sam Turner has felt the most supported and comfortable she ever has with being herself at work.

Working as one of the brand’s many regional general managers, Turner has also taken on the role of chairing Global – Westpac’s LGBTI employee group.

The work that group and the company has achieved in the past year was recognised when Westpac Group took out the top gong at the 2016 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Awards for LGBTI employee inclusion.
“The thing I always say, since joining Westpac almost two years ago, I have felt the most supported and most comfortable in terms of being myself,” she said.

“That includes (telling) stories about a partner, if I had one at the time. The most important thing is not feeling like I have to cover any aspect of my life.”

Global has been in existence for four years, and has gained visibility, engagement and participation from the workplace, Turner said.

The group has held a number of activities and programs in an attempt to foster LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.

“We run inclusive language training across the group,” Turner said.

“This year we actually filmed it and it’s available to our staff at any time via our intranet. It includes how we’re involving all our colleagues.”

There is also an inclusive leadership program, and social events like a Mardi Gras picnic.

“My experience as a role model but also as someone who identifies as L on the LGBTI spectrum, I’ve met more of our LGBTI staff in the past 12 months than ever, and I’ve seen a lot of our global members become more confident and happy,” Turner said.

“We don’t just pay lip service to it. It’s not just a bunch of stats on a page, it’s about how people genuinely feel. And my take on that is we’ve got more people across the group feeling comfortable in their own skin and feel like they can fully participate, whether that’s sharing weekend stories or their partner’s gender if that’s what they want to do.”

BT Financial Group chief executive Brad Cooper, who is Westpac’s executive sponsor for LGBTI inclusion and was named Inclusion Champion of the Year, said their work was not about the recognition but about wanting a more diverse workplace.

“When we first started, we did a staff engagement survey and when we looked at the engagement level of LGBTI employees, it was four per cent below the rest,” Cooper said.

“In two years, we’ve closed that gap and now we’ve got no difference.”

Cooper said Group’s initiatives drove people who were usually quite passive on the subject become more vocal when they saw behaviours that were unacceptable.

“88 per cent of employees feel comfortable with their sexual orientation in the workplace which was up nine per cent from two years previously,” he said.

“A great testament of people being who they are.”

ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs director Dawn Hough, applauded Westpac for their achievement.

“The Pride in Diversity Inclusion Awards, driven by the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) benchmarking process, reveal the significant work Australian organisations, including Westpac, are doing to create truly inclusive workplace cultures for their employees,” she said.

“The AWEI covers areas of contribution in policy, data collection, visibility, training, suppliers and community. Evidence-based, and objective, to be recognised as the Employer of the Year is a significant achievement.”

To find out more information about Pride in Diversity, visit its website here.

© Star Observer 2015 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

PRIDE IN DIVERSITY: NSW POLICE KICKING GOALS

MONDAY 20 JUNE, 2016 – STAR OBSERVER

HEADS turned in surprise at the Pride in Diversity (PID) awards on May 20 in Sydney as New South Wales Police picked up a swag of awards.

ACON’s PID program is a national not-for-profit employer program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

Despite having been a member of PID since 2012, it was the first time NSW Police entered the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), which is a benchmarking instrument that evaluates LGBTI inclusivity against a comprehensive set of measures in addition to a body of supporting evidence submitted by the employer as part of the evaluation process.

NSW Police came in 11th place overall on the index and also picked up awards for the inclusion of transgender people in the Transgender Inclusion Award category. Superintendent Tony Crandell was also recognised for his achievements in LGBTI workplace inclusion winning an Executive Leadership Award.

“I’ve been a police officer for 30 years and I’ve seen a massive change in LGBTI inclusion,” Supt Crandell said.

“I especially don’t want to say we haven’t got any further to go, because we have, but for police officers being able to be themselves, it’s been night and day in the journey I’ve seen.

Supt Crandell said much of NSW Police’s LGBTI inclusion achievements came via its GLLO (gay and lesbian liaison officers) program which was established in 1990.

“From my perspective the GLLO program is just so important and for the GLLOs to be identifiable to not only make officers know they can have someone they can trust, but for the LGBTI public to know the officers can identify with them,” he said.

“A lot of our work is through the GLLO program, we have over 200 GLLOs. They are the face of the police to not only the community, but to the force itself.

“They provide support and advice to LGBTI or sexuality and gender diverse police officers. They do lots of community engagement.”

The police also have a strong presence during the Wear It Purple Day and are planning to start a memorial for Transgender Remembrance Day.

NSW Police participates in Mardi Gras, uses inclusive language in its policies and runs training sessions for new recruits at the police academy.

Supt Crandell credits his whole team for their success, especially administration officer, Jackie Braw.

“For me that is such a massive team effort, Jackie is really the centre of all things LGBTI in the workforce,” he said.

Braw said one of her proudest achievements in NSW Police LGBTI inclusion plan was the 25th anniversary of the GLLO project an events last year.

“I was totally floored when we got 11th… it was a surprise,” she said.

Dawn Hough, Director, ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs congratulated NSW Police on its achievements.

“Pride in Diversity would like to congratulate the NSW Police Force on achieving 11th place within the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) 2017,” she said.

“This is a significant achievement which reflects their commitment to both LGBTI workplace inclusion, and their commitment to the LGBTI community in NSW.”

© Star Observer 2015 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Australia’s Top 20 Employers For LGBTI Inclusion Announced

Westpac Group has been named Australia’s 2016 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion for the first time at a special event held in Sydney by ACON’s Pride in Diversity (PID) program, a national not-for-profit employer program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

Employer of the Year heads an annual list of Top 20 employers for LGBTI inclusion determined by assessment against PID’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a benchmarking instrument that evaluates LGBTI inclusivity against a comprehensive set of measures in addition to a body of supporting evidence submitted by the employer as part of the evaluation process.

Along with some truly significant achievements in 2016 by a range of organisations ranging from banking and finance, renewables, telcos and IT, the Australian Federal Police receives the honour of being the highest performing public sector organisation.

Uniting is the highest ranking not-for-profit/charity and the NSW Police, in only their first year in the index, has achieved an 11th placed-ranking as well as receiving an award for transgender inclusion.

Presenting at the Awards Ceremony held on May 20, Patron of Pride in Diversity the Hon Michael Kirby AC said: “Once again we come together to acknowledge the progress being made in Australia in inclusion and non-discrimination in work, sport and life,”

“At occasions like this, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that ignorant and unscientific prejudice against LGBTI citizens has been overcome in our country…Unfortunately, this is not so,”

“Full equality has not been achieved in 2016. In fact there have been some notable reverses in the past year which we need to look squarely in the eyes; a clear sign that the struggle for dignity in Australia is far from over.”

Other awards at the luncheon included: LGBTI Employee Network of the Year (Commonwealth Bank’s UNITY); Innovation Award (Accenture); Highest Ranking University (The University of Western Australia); Achievement Award for Most Improved (Clayton Utz), Highest Ranking Small Employer (Key Assets – The Children’s Services Provider), Small Employer Award (Domestic Violence Service Management NSW).

Individuals acknowledged for their significant contribution to LGBTI workplace inclusion include Greg Ward, CEO Macquarie Bank (CEO of the Year); Supt Tony Crandell, NSW Police Force (Executive Leadership Award); Steve Rieniets, AGL (Regional Inclusion Champion); Brad Cooper, CEO BT Financial Group (Inclusion Champion); Melissa Tandy, ANZ (Sally Webster Ally Award); Suzi Russell-Gilford, PwC (Sapphire Award) and Rhiannon Kop, Aurizon (Out Role Model).

A Platinum Tier status has been established for the first time this year, acknowledging organisations that have either retained a top 5 position at least 4 times within the last 5 years, or achieved employer of the year twice within the last 5 years. PwC and Goldman Sachs are the first organisations to qualify for the new Platinum Tier.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs (which incorporates PID and the newly launched Pride in Sport) Dawn Hough said: “The AWEI has seen remarkable growth over the first six years of its life with this year seeing the most significant growth to date”.

There has been a 46.6% increase in AWEI participation, 125% increase in first time submissions and a 48% increase in accompanying employee survey responses (n 13,393).

Another noteworthy achievement for this year’s AWEI includes substantial growth in sector participation, including a 50% increase in private, 40% in public and 80% for Higher Education.

“While there is still a long way to go, Hough said that LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Agenda.”

Over 600 people attended the sold-out event at Doltone House in Sydney on May 20, emceed by Olympic Diver Matthew Mitcham. Speakers included PID patron the Hon. Michael Kirby and Paul Zahra, PwC Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board Member and former CEO of David Jones.

“Pride in Diversity congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion.” Ms Hough added.

The Top 20 Employers for LGBTI Inclusion 2016 are:

Ranking Employer
1 Westpac Group – Employer of the Year 2016
2 Commonwealth Bank
3 EY
=4 Macquarie Bank
=4 The University of Western Australia – Highest Ranking University
6 Uniting – Highest Ranking NFP/Charity
7 National Australia Bank
8 Accenture
9 Australian Federal Police – Highest Ranking Public Sector Employer
10 Allens
11 NSW Police Force
12 Lendlease
13 AGL Energy
14 ANZ
15 Telstra
16 Norton Rose Fulbright
17 Deutsche Bank
18 IBM
19 Bankwest
=20 Baker & McKenzie
=20 Department of Defence

Pride in Diversity is a program of ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health organisation

 

– ENDS –

*LGBTI = Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex

For more information please contact:
David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications Officer
E: dalexander@acon.org.au T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 M: +61 (0)428 477 042