The Australian Workplace Equality Index
The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) follows a 3-yearly cycle of local index review and international benchmarking. Upon review, new criteria are set with the intention of advancing LGBTQ workplace inclusion practice within Australia and aligning it with any new work being done internationally to ensure that Australian organisations continue to meet global standards of best practice. Within each new iteration, there is an expectation that entry points into the respective tiers will change, and overall scores decrease. This is a pattern we see with the release of every new iteration. It is important that the expectations of submitting organisations take this into account when aiming for a particular tier within a new iteration. It is important to note that the journey to maintain leading practice is not a 6-month journey; it’s a 3-year journey.
It is also important to note that for the fifth iteration, the methodology of determining recognition for Bronze, Silver and Gold tier entry levels has changed. Entry points to each of these tiers in previous iterations have been determined by ranking the scores of all participating organisations and calculating the top consecutive percentages. This meant that, as practices improved or shifted, the entry points would change from year to year.
Starting with the 5th iteration of the AWEI, we will be introducing fixed entry points for each of the tiers making it easier to estimate, realistically, where your tier recognition may fall.
To achieve Bronze Tier Status within the AWEI Foundation Submission, participating organisations must obtain 80% of allocated points.
- For Small Employers (500 or less employees), this is 40/50.
- For Standard Employers (501 or more employees), 64/80.
To achieve Silver Tier Status within the AWEI Advanced Submission, participating organisations must obtain 60% of allocated points.
- For Small Employers (500 or less employees), this is 30/50.
- For Standard Employers (501 or more employees, this is 72/120.
To achieve Gold Tier Status within the AWEI Advanced Submission, participating organisations must obtain 80% of allocated points.
- For Small Employers (500 or less employees), this is 40/50.
- For Standard Employers (501 or more employees), this is 96/120.
When are Index Submissions due?
Pride in Diversity member organisations can now:
- submit their AWEI Foundation Submission in effort to obtain Bronze Tier Status at any time
- submit their AWEI Advanced Submission during the annual submission period, January – February, annually
Non-member organisations may submit within any AWEI submission period (January – February, annually). Should non-members require fast track marking of their Foundation Submission, this is available on a fee-for-service basis. Please contact our office for more details.
What is the difference between these submissions?
AWEI Foundation Submission covers the baseline of LGBTQ inclusion efforts across the workplace
AWEI Advanced Submission covers furthered work that organisations frequently progress toward in relation to their LGBTQ inclusion work, including endeavors in best practice standards. It also covers work undertaken on an annual basis.
The AWEI is comprised of the following areas throughout:
- HR Policy and Diversity Practice – this is to ensure that all policies are clearly inclusive of LGBTQ people
- LGBTQ Bullying, Harassment & Support – to assist in reducing heightened levels of targeted bullying & harassment that LGBTQ people face
- Inclusion of Trans & Gender Diverse Employees – an area that typically does not have the same level of awareness and/or support but one that is becoming critical for employers as more people openly identify with a diverse gender at work
- Strategic Focus & Accountability – to show that you have targeted initiatives or plans in place to support LGBTQ inclusion on an ongoing basis
- LGBTQ Employee Networks; Visibility of Inclusion; and LGBTQ Training, Awareness and Professional Development – areas that contribute significantly to an LGBTQ inclusive culture
- Executive Leadership & Engagement – culture is led from the top and Senior Executive support for D&I speaks volumes to employees
- Data Analysis – which provides valuable information about the impact of your inclusion initiatives, highlighting where focus needs to be channelled or celebrated
- Community Engagement – which sends a significant message of inclusion to those outside of your organisation
- Survey Participation – optional participation within the annual AWEI Employee Survey
- Additional Work – any workplace-related LGBTQ inclusion work accomplished, not covered elsewhere within this submission
How do I access the AWEI Submission documents?
Where do I send my completed documents?
Information regarding where to send completed documents can be found within the AWEI Submission documents.
Are there fees to participate in the AWEI?
- Pride in Diversity members: there is no charge associated with the AWEI.
- Non-members: Please contact our office for more details.
What if I submit both my Foundation and Advanced Submission during the AWEI Marking Period?
Your Foundation Submission will be marked separately. If you do not achieve Bronze Tier Status within this part of the AWEI, you will not have the opportunity to redo and resubmit this Submission. Therefore, you forfeit the opportunity to have your Advanced Submission evaluated. We encourage you to use every opportunity to submit your Foundation Submission prior to the Marking Period.
What support will I have in submitting?
Pride in Diversity members have access to their Relationship Manager throughout the year, as part of their membership benefits.
All participants, regardless of membership, will have access to:
- AWEI Collaboration Worksheets – for use of internal collaboration across your organisation
- Support videos through public access in Pride in Diversity’s Vimeo library
- General support and advice through email@example.com
What happens if I achieve Bronze Tier Recognition?
If you obtain Bronze Tier Recognition based on the results of your AWEI Foundational Submission, you may opt to either:
- Complete an AWEI Advanced Submission in effort to obtain Silver of Gold Tier Recognition
- Maintain your Bronze status throughout the remainder of this iteration (until 2026)
Does my score carry over from last year?
If you obtain Bronze Tier Status within the Foundation Submission, you may maintain this throughout this iteration 2023 – 2026.
If you opt to then complete an Advanced Submission to obtain Silver or Gold Tier Status, this will need to be submitted annually.
Scores from historical AWEI submissions will not carry over this year, as we enter a new iteration.
What happens if I don’t achieve Bronze Tier Recognition?
If you don’t achieve Bronze Tier Recognition based on the results of your AWEI Foundation Submission, the following options are available:
- If you submit between March – December 2023: resubmit at any time following receiving your results
- If you submit in in January – February 2024: you will receive your results along with all other participants at the annual Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards in May 2024
We are one year off from qualifying for Platinum, how does this impact us?
Usually after qualifying for Platinum, you need to do a project or an additional AWEI submission (and achieve Gold) before you achieve Platinum. Let’s say in 2023 (which is no longer happening) you qualified. You would not actually achieve Platinum until 2024. However, we are looking at moving straight to Platinum recognition once the criteria have been met, removing the Qualifying year. You can still achieve Platinum 2024.
Can we continue work on Platinum Projects?
Yes, you can, we can assess this outside of the marking period.
On behalf of ACON and the Pride in Diversity team, we would once again like to say thank you for all you do in this critical area of Diversity & Inclusion.
AWEI Mailing List
Keep up to date with all the latest notifications, including tips, reminders and press releases by joining our AWEI Mailing List.
For more information on the AWEI and Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards event, please contact the Pride in Diversity office on (02) 9206 2139 or at AWEI@prideindiversity.com.au.