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ACON’s LGBTI Workplace Inclusion Program Signs Its 100th Member

Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion, today announced that it had signed the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) as its 100th member.

Pride in Diversity is a social inclusion program of ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI** organisation, and counts some of the nation’s top companies as its members

Commenting on this significant milestone, Mark Orr, ACON President, said:

“With workplace equality now an integral part of many businesses in Australia, more and more companies are recognising the enormous value and benefits of creating an inclusive workplace for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees.

“All the available data shows that people will perform better and make a more productive contribution to a workplace if they can be themselves and feel safe at work. That is precisely why so many of Australia’s leading companies have recognised that workplace inclusion is not only good for their employees but also good for their business bottom line.

“Just over five years ago, Pride in Diversity had eight foundation members including the Australian Federal Police, Department of Defence, Goldman Sachs, IBM,ING, KPMG, Lendlease, Telstra and we now we have a diverse and expanding membership base.

“In addition to the growing number of employers who believe in welcoming and supporting LGBTI people, the need for inclusive LGBTI service delivery is increasingly seen as an essential component to good welfare and health provision. In response to this, and as an extension of the National LGBTI Aged Care Training Initiative, ACON has established a training and consultancy team to support providers deliver inclusive and safe LGBTI services.

Pride in Diversity Director Dawn Hough welcomed the International Convention Centre Sydney and said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome on board the International Convention Centre City Sydney as our 100th member. By joining Pride in Diversity companies have the opportunity to showcase their commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace, as demonstrated by one of our founding members Lendlease, who are also part of the Public Private Partnership with the NSW Government that is delivering ICC Sydney.

“We are very proud to be working with 100 incredible members. We look forward to establishing new relationships with those who have come on board recently and continuing with those who we have worked with over the years to change the landscape of every workplace so that a person’s LGBT identity is – no more or less – important than any other aspect of identity amongst all employees.

“And of course we look forward to welcoming our next 100 members.”

ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said the AEG Ogden managed venue would welcome guests from across Sydney, the nation and the world and just as its patrons represented diverse nations, industries, ages, sexual orientation and career paths, its people would represent a diverse workforce.

“At ICC Sydney, we recognise and value the different knowledge, skills, backgrounds and perspectives that people bring to work irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social background. Workforce diversity builds organisational capability and will help us deliver on our goals for collaboration, productivity and innovation. An ingredient in our world class guest experience will be the diversity visible within our workforce, our partners, our supplier base, and our activity,” he said.

Pride & Diversity also operates the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), which is a free service provided annually that evaluates and benchmarks LGBTI inclusiveness in Australian workplaces. It comprises the largest and only national employee survey designed to gauge the overall impact of inclusion initiatives on organisational culture as well as identifying and non-identifying employees. The AWEI Index and its associated top 20 Inclusive Awards drive best practice in Australia and set a comparative benchmark for Australian employers across all sectors.

-Ends-

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

Andrew Hamadanian, ACON Media & Communications Officer
E: ahamadanian@acon.org.au | T: (02) 9206 2044  |  M: 0419 555 768

KEY ASSETS FOSTER CARING WINS LGBTI AWARD

QNEWS – May, 2015

Congratulations are in order for our friends at Key Assets who have just been awarded an AWEI Pride in Diversity award for their outstanding LGBTI workplace inclusion.

Key Assets is a non government organisation which provides foster care services across Queensland and has long been seeking LGBTI foster carers. They have been a regular presence at pride marches and festivals around the country for some years now and their parent company Core Assets has been listed on the the UK’s Stonewall top 100 employers committed to promoting LGBT equality in the workplace, so it is unsurprising that they have now been recognised locally for the great work they do with the LGBTI community.

Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only not-for-profit workplace program designed specifically to assist Australian employers with the inclusion of LGBTI employees and each year holds an awards ceremony to recognise Australia’s best employers for LGBTI people.

A full list of Australia’s top LGBTI employers can be found at www.prideindiversity.com.au.

PUBLIC SECTOR PLAYING CATCH-UP ON LGBTI FRIENDLY WORKPLACES

STAR OBSERVER – 18 May, 2015

AUSTRALIA’S public sector is falling behind on LGBTI inclusion, new research has revealed.

Of the 20 highest-ranked organisations in the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) of LGBTI friendly employers, only one-in-five comes from the public sector.

In contrast, half the organisations in the top 20 of the equivalent British Stonewall index are publicly-owned, including government departments and local councils.

Dawn Hough, Director of Pride in Diversity – which organises the AWEI – told the Star Observer that making workplaces more inclusive for LGBTI employees was simply not a priority for some public bodies.

Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was awarded 2015’s most LGBTI friendly employer at Friday’s ceremony held in Sydney – the second year the company has topped the table.

Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Curtin University and Goldman Sachs also made it into the top five.

Suzi Russell-Guildford (pictured above), a tax partner and executive sponsor of PwC’s LGBTI employee network, put the win down to involving everyone in inclusion initiatives.

“There’s a risk that when you run strategies around diversity that it just involves the diverse people,” she said.

“If you don’t go mainstream then you just don’t get it embedded in the culture and I feel PwC has really turned the corner on that.”

In March, PwC was one of a number of companies to sign a letter calling on the government to embrace marriage equality.

“We are strong believers that including people of all different diverse strands makes sense for work,” Russell-Guildford said.

“I’m gay, I’m married in the UK, I’ve got two children and I wouldn’t be able to do my job if PwC didn’t support me as a gay mother.”

Hough, who is a member of PwC’s diversity advisory board, said one of the initiatives that made the company a stand-out was the high level of engagement on LGBTI issues at an executive level.

She also said the AWEI benchmark was raised this year, with extra marks given to organisations that could show they were working with suppliers who shared their views on LGBTI inclusion.

“We work on the notion that to shift practice we need to constantly shift the bar,” Hough said.

Aside from Curtin University, the University of Western Australia (UWA) was the only public sector organisation to make it into the top 10 while the Australian Federal Police and Department of Defence tied for 17th position.

Last year, three public-sector bodies made it into the top 10 and in 2011 – the first year of the AWEI rankings – four such organisations were represented.

“It’s really quite sad,” Hough said.

“If you look at the UK the public sector is leading the way whereas as here it’s financial services so we need to get a lot more public sector organisations engaged.”

Hough said many public bodies took their cue from government on which areas of diversity to concentrate on and LGBTI inclusion was not high on the list.

“Unless it’s an area they are accountable for then it’s a ‘nice if we’ve got the budget’ rather than ‘we need to focus on this’,” she said.

“The answer is to make it an accountable area and that’s tough and may not happen for a while.”

Hough praised Curtin and UWA, both of which also scored well on the recent Star Observer-backed Australian LGBTI University Guide, for beating many larger companies.

On Friday, Hong Kong-based organisation Community Business released the territory’s first LGBTI workplace index.

Financial services organisations nabbed nine of the 10 top places with ANZ Bank – which also made it into the AWEI top 10 – the highest placed Australian company.

The top 20 most LGBTI-friendly workplaces according to the 2015 Australian Workplace Equality Index:

1. PricewaterhouseCoopers
2. Westpac Group
3. Curtin University
4. Commonwealth Bank of Australia
5. Goldman Sachs
6. ANZ
7. Macquarie Bank (first year in Top 10)
8. Lend Lease
9. National Australia Bank (first year in Top 10)
10. The University of Western Australia
11. IBM
12. Ernst & Young
13. Australian Red Cross Blood Service
=14. Accenture
=14. Allens
16. UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT
=17. Australian Federal Police
=17. Department of Defence
19. Herbert Smith Freehills
20. Telstra

Australia’s best companies for LGBTI employees

HUMAN CAPITAL MAGAZINE – 20 May, 2015

Australia’s top companies for supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people at work were announced on Friday, with PwC coming out on top for the second time.

PwC’s Australian division topped the list of 20 organisations which was revealed at an event organised by Pride in Diversity.

“Not only is inclusiveness the right thing to do, as it encourages people to engage, respect and contribute to the organisation they are working for, it is a sound business decision as diversity leads to innovation, which leads to growth,” said PwC’s chief of staff James Collins, who received the award at the event. “We are delighted to be recognised for having strong policies on how to encourage and support our LGBTI employees as well as recognition for being a bold supporter of LGBTI issues in society, such as supporting marriage equality.”

The awards were determined by using Pride in Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), which evaluates and benchmarks LGBTI inclusiveness in workplaces around the country.

Other award winners included ANZ, which won an award for its GAYTMs, Key Assets (best small employer), and the Australian Red Cross Blood Collection (best not-for-profit/charity).

“While many employees feel comfortable to be themselves at work, let’s not lose sight of the fact that many more do not,” said Michael Kirby AC, who presented the awards at the event. “Where we stand today is still not good enough. The more inclusive your workplace culture, the more likely people will be to engage, respect and contribute to the organisation they are working for.”

According to Pride in Diversity’s director Dawn Hough, more organisations are engaging with the AWEI.

“This is the fifth year of the AWEI,” she said. “The number of employers participating has increased by 152% from Year 1 and we now have over 9000 employees participating in the employee survey. The focus on LGBTI inclusion initiatives has increased substantially. We are really looking at our Top 20 Employers now as examples of good practice. There is very little difference point-wise between some of these employers, in some cases, as little as 1 point between leaderboard positions.”

It was also announced recently that Pride in Diversity will be developing an index to address homophobia in sports.

“Pride in Diversity congratulates all the organisations recognised for their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion,” Hough added.

The top 20 Australian employers for LGBTI people are:

1. PwC
2. Westpac Group
3. Curtin University
4. Commonwealth Bank of Australia
5. Goldman Sachs
6. ANZ
7. Macquarie Bank
8. Lend Lease
9. National Australia Bank
10. The University of Western Australia
11. IBM
12. EY
13. Australian Red Cross Blood Service
14. Accenture
14. Allens
16. UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT
17. Australian Federal Police
17. Department of Defence
19. Herbert Smith Freehills
20. Telstra

Australia’s Top 20 Employers for LGBTI Employees Announced

PwC has been named Australia’s Employer of the Year for 2015, the first time an employer has picked up the coveted title twice, at a special event recognising workplace support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

The Australian arm of the global professional services firm topped a list of 20 organisations which were recognised today at a special luncheon in Sydney organised by Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national employer support program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

The awards were determined using Pride In Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a free service provided annually by Pride In Diversity that evaluates and benchmarks LGBTI inclusiveness in Australian workplaces.

Other awards at the luncheon included: LGBTI Employee Network of the Year (Westpac GLOBAL); Highest Ranking University (Curtin University); Highest Ranking Public Sector Organisation (Australian Federal Police & Department of Defence); and Achievement Award for Most Improved (HSBC).

ANZ won an Innovation Award for their GayTM’s, Key Assets won Small Employer Award and Children & Young People’s Mental Health picked up the Regional Employer Award. Australian Red Cross Blood Collection was also named Highest Ranking Not-for-Profit/Charity.

This year individuals from Lend Lease (Jason Burubu), Deakin University (Roxanne/Bobby J Thomson), Westpac Group (Brad Cooper and Kristina Bennett) and Curtin University (Maz Rahman) were acknowledged for their significant contribution to LGBTI workplace inclusion initiatives.

Presenting the Awards at the Ceremony, the Hon Michael Kirby AC, said, “I applaud all the organisations here today, and indeed individuals who have played critical roles in their ongoing commitment and support of their LGBTI employees and colleagues.

“While many employees feel comfortable to be themselves at work, let’s not lose sight of the fact that many more do not. Where we stand today is still not good enough. The more inclusive your workplace culture, the more likely people will be to engage, respect and contribute to the organisation they are working for.”

Pride in Diversity Director Dawn Hough says more organisations are engaging with the AWEI. “This is the fifth year of the AWEI. The number of employers participating has increased by 152% from Year 1 and we now have over 9000 employees participating in the employee survey. The focus on LGBTI inclusion initiatives has increased substantially. We are really looking at our Top 20 Employers now as examples of good practice. There is very little difference point-wise between some of these employers, in some cases, as little as 1 point between leaderboard positions.”

Approximately 450 people attended the sold-out event at the Westin in Sydney on May 15, MC’d by Bob Downe. Guests included Pride In Diversity patron the Hon. Michael Kirby, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson and CEO’s and Leaders from some of Australia’s largest commercial and public sector organisations. On the back of the announcement that Pride in Diversity will also be developing an index to address homophobia in sports, representatives from Bingham Cup, Football Federation Australia, Cricket Australia, Australian Sports Commission, Australian Rugby Union, National Rugby League and AFL were also present.

Pride in Diversity congratulates all the organisations recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion,” Ms Hough says.

The 2015 Top 20 Australian employers for LGBTI people are:

 1.   PwC2.  Westpac Group3.  Curtin University4.  Commonwealth Bank of Australia5.  Goldman Sachs

6. ANZ

7.   Macquarie Bank

8.  Lend Lease

9.  National Australia Bank

10. The University of WA

11. IBM12. EY13. Australian Red Cross Blood Service=14. Accenture= 14. Allens

16. UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT

=17. Australian Federal Police

=17. Department of Defence

19. Herbert Smith Freehills

20. Telstra

Pride In Diversity is a program of ACON, NSW’s leading HIV and LGBTI health organisation.

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

ENDS 

For more info please contact:

Dawn Hough, Pride In Diversity Director

T: (02) 9206 2136     M: 0409 887 212     E: dawn.hough@prideindiversity.com.au

Media Enquiries:
Andrew Hamadanian, ACON Media & Communication Officer
E: ahamadanian@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044  M: 0419 555 768