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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