2021 LGBTQ Inclusion Awards: Winner Statements

The AWEI is Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for LGBTQ inclusion within Australian workplaces. Based on the rigorous assessment of evidence submitted annually for the AWEI.

Below are statements from CEOs of organisations who have obtained Gold and/or Platinum Employer status based on the results of the AWEI.

Also below are statements from winners in our nominated award categories, which are not based on the results of the Index.

Platinum Employer Recognition

Platinum Employer recognition acknowledges the highest levels of performance within the AWEI over a sustained period of time. Employers must first qualify for Platinum recognition by achieving an AWEI score within the current gold range of scores for four out of the last five successive years; or be awarded Employer of the Year twice within that period.

Once an employer qualifies for Platinum Employer recognition, they may then choose to alternate between a workplace project and the AWEI submission. This reduces the full AWEI benchmarking submission to once every three years should the alternative AWEI project offer be taken up

Platinum Employer recognition must be maintained annually by maintaining the criteria for four of the last five submission cycles. If this criteria is not met, employers drop back to the employer tier dictated by their score. Annual Platinum status is the highest obtainable recognition within the AWEI.

Gold Employer Recognition

Gold recognition is the highest recognition obtainable for the current year outside of the longevity of Platinum Employer recognition. Gold Employers have obtained the highest AWEI submission scores within the current year. This recognition is indicative of a substantial amount of work and activity in the area of LGBTQ inclusion.

Typically, Gold Employer status recognises organisations sitting within the top 10% of scores obtained. Gold recognition is an outstanding achievement and organisations that obtain this recognition should be applauded for their level of activity over the given year.

AWEI Standard Employers (501 or more employees)
ACCENTURE | Platinum Employer

Accenture is committed to an equal workplace. One that inspires authenticity at work for all our people—including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This is reflected in the strength of our Pride community which includes more than 124,000 LGBTIQ+ allies globally, with 1,800+ in Australia and New Zealand.

Our commitment to accelerating LGBTIQ+ equality also extends beyond our own workplace, which is why our 2020 Platinum Project focused on supporting our client organisations in improving their own LGBTIQ+ inclusion strategies. Throughout 2020 and 2021, Accenture engaged with five clients, helping them with strategies to engage allies, establish and run their networks efficiently and deliver ally training to improve awareness and acceptance. These are all initiatives that we have implemented internally at Accenture and believe have been fundamental to the success of creating an equal workplace.

Ensuring an inclusive environment internally, and amongst our clients and communities, forms a key part of our belief that equality drives innovation. And never has that been more relevant than it is today. It enables us to attract, develop, inspire and reward top talent. And it creates an environment that unleashes innovation, allowing our people to perform at their very best. Most importantly, it underpins a culture in which everyone feels they have an equal opportunity to belong and build a career.

I firmly believe that our strength is in our diversity and would encourage every organisation to consider how they enable their people to bring their distinct experience, talents and culture to the table.

Tara Brady, CEO

EY | Platinum Employer

I’m incredibly proud to see EY Australia achieve AWEI Platinum status. Everyone should feel able to bring their true self to work and feel safe and supported to thrive, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. When everyone feels safe to fully be themselves, we all benefit from greater diversity of thought, innovation and engagement.

Achieving Platinum status has taken many years of deliberate and sustained effort and I am proud of the recognition EY has received for this work. More importantly though, I am proud of the impact this work has had on EY people and the wider LGBTQ community. I would like to personally thank the EY Unity network for their significant contribution to the organisation’s culture through their vision, leadership and determination to improve the LGBTQ experience.

Successful leaders of the future need to be transformative and inclusive. Leaders who can bring out the best in themselves and others by embracing the power of belonging. A better working world is one where LGBTQ people belong.

David Larocca

Incoming EY Oceania CEO and Regional Managing Partner

MACQUARIE BANK | Platinum Employer

Congratulations to everyone involved in this year’s AWEI. Each year, these awards are more and more inspiring as we see diversity playing a more important and prominent role in Australian businesses.

At Macquarie, our success has come from encouraging our people to think differently, to share their stories and perspectives, and to embrace diversity of thought across our business. We’ve worked hard to create an inclusive environment that enables collaboration with each other and with our clients, and where innovation can thrive.

We’re immensely proud of the project we delivered in 2020 to increase the sense of inclusion and psychological safety for our LGBTQ+ people who identify as women and are honoured to be awarded Platinum Employer status at the 2021 AWEI awards.

Greg Ward

Deputy Managing Director

Head of Banking and Financial Services

AGL ENERGY | Gold Employer | Platinum Qualifier

I am very proud of the efforts of our LGBTQ+ network and our people who have helped AGL to be recognised as a Gold Employer, Platinum Qualifier, at the 2021 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.

At AGL, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is embedded in our purpose and our values. Our value Better together reflects our belief that a respectful and inclusive workplace embraces the diversity of all our people.

In 2015, we established our employee driven LGBTQ+ network, AGL Shine, in response to our employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+), and our allies who support their colleagues and friends who identify as LGBTQ+.

Since then, our network has grown to achieve many milestones with the help and support of the team at Pride in Diversity. This has included affirming the Darlington Statement, introducing leave for our transgender employees within our Gender Affirmation Leave Policy, introducing gender pronouns in our Workday Employee Profiles, sponsoring Midsumma Festival and Mardi Gras Film Festival for the last six years and so much more.

I would like to personally thank our AGL Shine committee and network members, our Diversity and Inclusion team, and our Australian Workforce Equality Index (AWEI) Working Group, all of whom continue to passionately advocate and champion LGBTQ+ inclusion at AGL. Each of these teams work tirelessly to facilitate our LGBTQ+ events, strategic policy changes, and training sessions – while also showcasing all our hard work for the entire year in a comprehensive AWEI submission.

We are honoured to receive the Gold Employer status for the second year in a row and fourth time in total, and we remain committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that delivers the best possible outcomes for our people, our customers, and our communities.

Graeme Hunt

Interim Managing Director and CEO

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE | Gold Employer | Platinum Qualifier

I’m honoured the ATO has been recognised as a Gold Tier Employer, and Platinum Qualifier, at the 2021 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards. The ATO is the first Australian Government employer to reach Platinum Qualifier; that’s a great reflection of our dedication to support the LGBTQI+ community and to promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace.

All of us in the ATO recognise the enormous benefits that come from having a diverse workforce. We place a lot of value on the unique personalities, skills and capabilities our staff bring to the organisation.

This award demonstrates the hard work and determination of our LGBTI+ employee network (ATOMIC – ATO Making Inclusion Count) and our staff more broadly. We promote inclusion and foster a safe and supportive work environment. Our efforts and vision for a workplace that values diversity, equity, and inclusion have brought tangible benefits and I am truly appreciative. By embracing our differences, we are able to better reflect the diversity of the broader community and better understand and meet their needs.

Within the ATO, we want to ensure every staff member feels like they belong, they are valued, they are empowered to speak up, and that our culture at work is respectful, supportive and equitable: a safe and encouraging environment for everyone. While we celebrate our achievement, we recognise there is still more work to be done. We will remain committed to continuing our progress.

Chris Jordan

Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australia Business Registry Services

CSIRO | Gold Employer

Workplace inclusion has never been more crucial. It's evident that many people, including LGBTIQ+ colleagues and communities, have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our organisations must reflect the diversity of the lived experiences of our people, and the challenges they face.

Achieving Gold Employer status for the second successive year is testament to our collective commitment to making our LGBTIQ+ identifying colleagues feel welcomed, accepted, and a strong sense of belonging. Our people are our greatest asset at CSIRO, and I'm so proud of what this award says about us.

Larry Marshall

Chief Executive 

DELOITTE AUSTRALIA | Gold Employer

I am very proud and excited that Deloitte has been awarded Gold Employer Status for LGBTI+ inclusion by AWEI this year, making it third time we have achieved this accolade. This is great recognition of our ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive culture, built on a foundation of respect and appreciation for diversity in all its forms.

We have a wonderfully diverse team at Deloitte, and we are committed to creating an environment where everyone is proud who of they are and can bring their best selves to work.

Thank you and congratulations to the key Deloitte teams involved for their sustained focus and commitment to this important agenda.

Adam Powick

CEO

IBM | Gold Employer

Thank you to ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs for their recognition of everything we are seeking to do at IBM in Australia and New Zealand, and for the work they do every day. And thank you to the incredible "EAGLE" LGBTQ+ team in IBM who inspire me through their work and commitment to creating a better IBM - and a better world.

I am deeply humbled to have received this inclusion award because, as a leader, there is still so much to understand and learn on this journey. But one thing I know for certain is that everyone deserves to thrive because of who they are – not despite who they are. Everyone deserves to feel safe and appreciated and to be able to bring their full self to work.

Creating an inclusive work environment regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is not a single person’s or department’s responsibility. We all have a part to play to embed inclusion and diversity in our work cultures.

IBM was a founding member of Pride in Diversity and has been championing inclusion and diversity for over 100 years. Yet despite this rich heritage, each of us still has the opportunity to learn and grow. That is why, wherever we are in the world, we celebrate diversity of thought and inclusion in everything we do. We know that it’s fundamental to our success, which is why inclusion and diversity will always be integral to how we work at IBM.

Katrina Troughton

Managing Director, IBM Australia & New Zealand

J.P. MORGAN Gold Employer

We are immensely proud that J.P. Morgan has been awarded a gold ranking for the second consecutive year. Demonstrating support for our LGBT+ colleagues is making a huge difference and we are committed to creating an environment in which everyone feels respected and valued.

This recognition is a team effort. Our achievement also celebrates the work of our PRIDE Business Resource Group, which continues to promote the values of teamwork and inclusivity. PRIDE helps to shape our culture, where all employees are encouraged and able to be their authentic selves and to do their best at work.

We believe that our diverse workforce and inclusive culture is a key driver of our achievements worldwide. Standing up for and supporting the rights of all individuals and showing mutual respect for people of all backgrounds is one of our most important values and we are committed to promoting an environment which consistently allows LGBT+ colleagues the opportunity to build successful careers and reach their greatest potential.

Thank you to the Australian Workplace Equality Index for being a driving force behind LGBT+ workplace inclusion in Australia.

Robert Bedwell

Chief Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand

KPMG AUSTRALIA | Gold Employer | Network of the Year

Pride@KPMG is one of our firm’s longest running employee-led networks and a leader across our global KPMG network. I am very proud to share that this year KPMG Australia achieved Gold Employer status and was awarded co-winner of 2021 Employee Network of the Year, a truly well-deserved recognition of the hard work of our people who support LGBTQ+ inclusion.

The network’s purpose is to inspire and engage with our colleagues, clients and community, to empower change, promote inclusion and celebrate diversity. KPMG Australia is committed to continue to be an employer of choice for LGBTQ+ people.

Pride@KPMG and the Inclusion and Diversity Team concentrate their efforts on tangible outcomes, such as the recent update to our firm’s policies to ensure they are explicitly inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, including parental leave and our domestic and family violence policies. We encourage the development of our LGBTQ+ people through Leading with Pride our specific six-month leadership. Our second cohort of Leading with Pride participants will graduate in 2021.

In addition, the Pride@KPMG team mark important days of significance for the LGBTQ+ community including firmwide events to celebrate Wear it Purple, IDAHOBIT, and Transgender Day of Visibility.

Together they have shared stories and lived experiences across KPMG through panels, education sessions and having Pride@KPMG members present at external events.

Last year in the difficult time of COVID lockdowns the network increased activities for LGBTQ+ women and trans and gender diverse people and created a sense of connection through the Letter to Your Younger Self video series. This series shared real stories of LGBTQ+ people who wrote letters to their younger selves for allies to read aloud. They were moving and powerful.

2021 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year for Pride@KPMG, contributing to make KPMG an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ people.

Alison Kitchen

National Chairman

MINTERELLISON | Gold Employer

Being recognised at this year's LGBTQ Inclusion Awards as a Gold Employer is something we're incredibly proud of. At MinterEllison, we're committed to diversity in all its forms and to fostering an environment that is inclusive and respectful. A workplace where our LGBTQ+ community can feel safe, proud, connected and inspired, and where all of our people can bring their whole selves to work.

I'm so proud to see the work of our PRIME (Pride, Respect and Inclusion at MinterEllison) network recognised at this level. The passion and drive of everyone in this network inspires me every day to be an ally and an advocate.

As a firm, we're committed to diversity because we know that when we bring a diversity of thinking, skills, experience, gender identity, backgrounds, and orientations to the table, we get better results. In 2021 we made some impactful changes including further embedding gender identity inclusivity into our people management systems.

As part of our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion, we believe it's vital that we use the knowledge and resources available to us to truly create lasting impacts for the wider LGBTQ+ community. We endeavour to achieve this by being visible advocates and providing ongoing pro bono and community investment support to the organisations doing incredible work in the community every day. MinterEllison is proud to have been the pro bono legal partners for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for over 20 years and to have marched in the parade in 2020 and 2021 celebrating justice, equality and inclusion.

We're also passionate about working hand in hand with our clients and industry partners on issues and projects that have the potential to make a real difference in furthering LGBTQ inclusion in our society at large. This was demonstrated recently throughout partnership with Interbuild in preparing launching the "Inc-loo-sion report" on all gender bathrooms to the building and construction industry.

Virginia Briggs

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner

NAB | Gold Employer

At NAB we believe that we all deserve to be our true selves. We’re committed to contributing to society where our customers and colleagues are respected, valued and celebrated for who they are, no matter how they identify.

After a year of unprecedented disruption in our workplaces and homes, its particularly rewarding to be recognised with Gold Employer status, for the third consecutive year. This is testament to our solid diversity and inclusion foundations as well as the tireless efforts of so many colleagues at NAB, committed to maintaining and enhancing our diverse workplace.

The NAB Pride team are central to our success in fostering LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace. They freely commit their time, going above and beyond their day jobs to make NAB a place where our colleagues and customers can be their whole selves. Through our NAB Pride team and our allies, we work to inform and influence not only those who work at NAB, but our customers and business partners right across the globe to create a diverse, respectful and inclusive bank.

Together, we all feel proud.

Rachel Slade

Group Executive, Personal Banking

NAB Pride Executive Co-Sponsor

NBN | Gold Employer

I am incredibly proud that nbn has been awarded Gold Employer Status. Creating a culture of inclusion, one where we can all bring our whole selves to work is a key focus for nbn. Inclusion is part of the DNA of our company and this is a beautiful legacy we can all be proud of.

Australia is a diverse nation, and we have a fantastic opportunity to create a workplace that reflects and supports this diversity. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that delivers the best possible outcomes for our people, our customers, and the nation.

I would like to thank our nbn Pride committee and our vast network of Allies for leading the work in this space. I’d also like to thank each and every person at nbn, as either directly or indirectly, you all play a part in building an inclusive culture.

We are honoured to receive the Gold Employer Status and look forward to furthering our work in diversity and inclusion.

Brad Whitcomb

Executive Sponsor for Pride, Chief Customer Officer

QBE INSURANCE | Gold Employer

I am so proud to be part of a leading organisation in LGBTIQ+ inclusion and thrilled that QBE has been recognised with Gold Employer status for the third year in a row.

I would like to thank our QBE Pride Committee whose tireless advocacy for LGBTIQ+ inclusion has ensured a culture of support, empathy and inclusion within our workplace. QBE Pride’s former Co-Chair, Ben Brown, was recognised as Network Leader of the Year in the 2020 awards for his contributions to LGBTIQ+ inclusion, which perfectly captures the impact generated by our QBE Pride colleagues.

In 2020 we activated our first LGBTIQ+ customer campaign where we ran a competition offering two double passes to join QBE Pride march with the Rainbow and Sydney Swans at Mardi Gras. Not only did this further align our brand with support and advocacy of the LGBTIQ+ community, we were also pleased to receive numerous submissions with many sharing heartfelt personal experiences.

It’s moments like this that inspire us to keep moving the dial to see what more we can accomplish in our inclusion journey. It’s important to us both personally, and as a business, to use our position to stand beside Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community and provide a place where everyone feels welcomed to be their authentic self.

As a gay man, with a male partner and twin five-year old boys, I know how important it is to feel safe and supported and, most importantly, equal in the workplace. I am really proud that at QBE I feel comfortable to bring my whole self to work and to be open and honest about me and my family.

Frank Costigan

Interim Managing Director

SCENTRE GROUP | Gold Employer

We are honoured to be named as a Gold Employer in the AWEI 2021 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards – building on our silver tier recognition last year.

We are so proud to have achieved this benchmark recognition. It reflects how we have continued to learn and grow as a company and as leaders to ensure our people from the LGBTI+ community feel welcome, comfortable and safe to be themselves at Scentre Group.

We know achieving that is essential for us if we are to achieve our aspiration of being the place for talent to thrive.

Our goal is to keep building inclusive capability, so it is just the way we work at Scentre Group.

I would also like to thank all members of our employee-led Diversity and Inclusion Working Groups especially our LGBTI+ Working Group, as well as members of our broader D&I Council who continue to raise awareness, explore policy enhancements, provide education, offer support and foster a culture of inclusion.

We will continue to strive for best practice in all areas of diversity and inclusion.

Peter Allen

CEO

SERVICES AUSTRALIA | Gold Employer

We are extremely proud to have been recognised as a Gold Employer for LGBTI+ inclusion in the Australian Workplace Equality Index.

As a large Federal Government agency that delivers services to almost every Australian, we take our responsibility to provide safe and inclusive workplaces very seriously.

We want our workforce to be as diverse as the Australian community we serve and for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to thrive at work.

We believe everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability should feel equally accepted. It’s important for the wellbeing of our people and it enhances our business performance and customer service.

Many people and teams have contributed to this outcome through their focus on understanding the unique experiences of the LGBTI+ community. I would particularly like to mention our vibrant staff network, the Rainbow Connection, for their tireless support and guidance. We look forward to finding new ways to enhance inclusion in our workplaces.

Rebecca Skinner PSM

CEO

THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY | Gold Employer

We are particularly proud of our achievements during 2020 and increasing our score in the AWEI by 60 points. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented specific challenges to the University, our focus remained strong to create an inclusive environment where staff of diverse sexualities and genders can thrive and realise their potential.

Our strategy was to focus on our strengths of research, education and policy while finding new ways of connecting with our staff. The University of Sydney was founded on the vision of ‘opportunity for all’ and we ensure that from onboarding through to our leadership pathways, life at the University reflects and celebrates sexuality and gender in all its diversity and fluidity.

Some highlights of the past year include non-binary colleagues reaching parity with men in progressing to interview stage in recruitment, together with upgrades to our facilities, policies, photo guides and recruitment procedures. While for our students we created the 78ers Legacy Fund Scholarship recognising the individuals who carved a path for LGBTQ rights in Australia, and established LGBTQ Student Support Liaison Officer roles to ensure inclusion for our students is integrated into faculties.

We know there is always more work to be done and complacency is not an option. Our ongoing goal is to continue to embed support within our policies, processes, systems and culture to create an institution where everyone, regardless of who they are or their individual background, can thrive.

Andrew Mills

CEO

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES | Gold Employer

At the beginning of 2020, UNSW Sydney made a decision more poignant than we could have known. We updated our motto, Scientia Manu et Mente, Knowledge by Hand and Mind, to Scientia Corde, Manu et Mente, Knowledge by Heart, Hand and Mind.

Our Gold Employer Award in the Australian Workplace Equality Index 2021 is a tremendous marker of the heart of the UNSW community.

This award is particularly special in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts it has had on our students and staff. For many in the UNSW community, the past year has been one of the most difficult in their professional and personal lives. Amid the challenges of the pandemic, the honour of being named a Gold Employer for the second consecutive year is a great reflection of our University’s ongoing dedication to providing a safe, fair and supportive environment for LGTBIQ+ staff and students.

As we have navigated different ways of working together and finding connection, UNSW has kept the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion front of mind. It has been tremendously encouraging to see the creativity and flair with which our people have engaged with the LGBTIQ+ community, exemplified in online Wear It Purple Day celebrations and Ally training. I had the privilege of launching new Gender Affirmation Guidelines for staff and students, virtually, late last year.

This year, new UNSW LGBTIQ+ Champions begin their term, building on the strong foundations of previous LGBTIQ+ Champion Dr Bridget Haire, the Working Party and our Diversity & Inclusion team. I look forward to the ways in which our new Champions will advance this important work.

UNSW continues to focus on removing barriers to inclusion and creating a positive culture that embraces the richness of our community on our campuses and in our virtual interactions. We are fostering an environment in which everyone can be themselves and in which there is zero tolerance for homophobia, transphobia or discrimination of any kind. Together, we will continue to build a culture of respect and inclusion for everyone.

Professor Ian Jacobs

President and Vice-Chancellor

WOOLWORTHS GROUP | Gold Employer

Woolworths Group is proud to be recognised as an AWEI Gold Tier Employer for the fourth consecutive year and also Platinum qualifiers, in recognition of our progress in creating an inclusive culture across all of our businesses. 

As Australia's largest private-sector employer, we recognise the critical role we play in advancing LGBTQ+ inclusion within our workplaces and stores and the impact it has on the sense of belonging experienced by our team members and customers. We know that the actions we take today to foster an authentic culture of inclusion will provide a better tomorrow for everyone. 

Our Proud at Woolworths Group network is made up of over 2900 team members, who care deeply about creating a truly inclusive workplace . It has been a privilege to see the Proud network grow over the years and the contribution it has made to the psychological safety and sense of belonging experienced by our LGBTQ+ team members. Our collective goal is to create a supportive environment for all of our customers and our team, their friends and family members who identify directly as LGBTQ+ or are a supporting Ally of the LGBTQ+ community. 

While we know we still have more work to do, we are fully committed to continuing to create better experiences for our LGBTQ+ team members. I look forward to seeing the work and consequential impact that the Proud network will make in the coming years, through the development of the Woolworths Group Platinum Project for LGBTQ+ inclusion.  

It is a very energising time to be part of the Woolworths team. As a diverse and inclusive team, we know we can create better experiences together for a better tomorrow.

Brad Banducci 

CEO

AWEI Small Employers (500 or less employees)
OLIVER WYMAN | Small Employer of the Year | Small Gold Employer

Oliver Wyman is extremely proud to once again be recognised among leading Australian employers for LGBTIQ inclusion and advocacy, and to be noted as the highest ranking Small Employer for 2020 is an even greater honour. In the year that was 2020, our GLOW team stepped up to bring inclusion efforts into the virtual space, hosting virtual panels, learning sessions and Happy Hours and kicking off a digital ‘Ally August’ pledge campaign. Through the year, we also joined with organisations like Wear it Purple and the Aurora Group to support their already immense efforts in the broader LGBTIQ community.

We remain firm in our conviction to continue working towards a more inclusive environment for our current, former and potential future LTBIQ colleagues, to recognize and overcome barriers to diversity in all their forms, and to ensure our people feel empowered to do the same. We know there is still work to be done, and we remain committed to continuing to build a culture we are proud to live and work in.

Edward Emanuel, Partner and Australian Market Lead

CLIFFORD CHANCE | Small Gold Employer

Clifford Chance is extremely proud to be recognised for the second consecutive year as a Gold Employer in the 2021 AWEI Awards. This accomplishment is recognition of our continued dedication to ensuring everyone at Clifford Chance can bring their full selves to the workplace and achieve their fullest potential.

We are actively committed to our core values of diversity & inclusion, and hold the vision of becoming the global law firm of choice for LGBT+ people and LGBT+ causes. Clifford Chance will continue to advance these values through championing bold and meaningful initiatives, both in our workplace and the communities in which we operate. As part of this commitment, Clifford Chance recently announced LGBT+ global partner level targets, continues to support LGBT+ art and artists through Pride Art, and will continue to support and educate our colleagues, partner with our clients, and use our position of influence to drive real change in Australia and globally.

Richard Gordon

Managing Partner

COLIN BIGGERS & PAISLEY LAWYERS | Small Gold Employer

I am very proud Colin Biggers & Paisley has been recognised as an emerging leader by Pride in Diversity for fostering a safe and supportive culture where everyone feels respected, valued and can bring their whole selves to work every day.

Above all, we believe in acceptance, equity, human rights, and the power of our community. Together with our LGBTQ employee network, Pride@CBP, we are continually looking at ways to listen, learn and strive to create an inclusive space for everyone at Colin Biggers & Paisley.

Nick Crennan, Managing Partner, Colin Biggers & Paisley

DENTONS | Small Gold Employer

At Dentons, inclusion and diversity are fundamental to who we are, and integral to our vision and strategy.

We believe that inclusion and diversity are essential to the success and strength of our people, and to ensure the diversity of our own firm represents that of our clients. Our focus has been on ensuring that everyone, no matter their background; gender; sexuality; faith; age; ability; culture; and other characteristics, feel like they belong. Creating a culture of inclusion, where people feel heard, accepted and that they can be open at all levels, has been a defining reason why Dentons has been able to make such progress in furthering LGBTQ+ diversity inclusion both globally and within Australia.

Through Dentons’ Social Impact Framework, and the dedication of our LGBTQ+ Network, GLOW, we are proud to help break down barriers to LGBTQ+ inclusion through initiatives including establishing the Australian-first Trans and Gender Diverse Legal Centre in partnership with the Inner City Legal Centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross; our strong focus on Ally training to help our employees support their LGBTQ+ colleagues in the workplace; and our raft of dedicated inclusion policies such as our Manager’s Guide for Supporting Gender Diverse Staff and our Guide for Trans Employees Transitioning at Work.

We are committed to advancing inclusion and diversity in all our offices around the world, and to celebrating the rich and diverse culture of our polycentric firm. Our focus remains on working with our employees and clients to further inclusion and leave a lasting, positive impact in the communities in which we live and work.

Doug Stipanicev

Australia Chair and Australasia Region CEO

DEUTSCHE BANK | Small Gold Employer

Gold Employer recognition highlights the material work and progress undertaken by the bank during the assessment period. This is particularly pleasing, given the significant disruption caused by the pandemic.

Each year, the AWEI index gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved, while also considering how we are going to take our efforts in support of the LGBTQ community to the next level. I am incredibly proud that we have once again obtained Gold status, placing us in the top 10 per cent of employers nationally and recognising the outstanding work of our local dbPride team.

dbPride is Deutsche Bank’s global LGBTQ employee network and offers a supportive network for the LGBTQ community and allies within the bank. Its mission is to promote a diverse and inclusive work environment where employees can bring their whole self to work.

In Australia, dbPride regularly runs LGBTQ education and awareness sessions and ally training sessions, as well as a range of events for members and employees. The bank is active in the LGBTQ community, supporting international awareness days and fundraising. Our dbPride Committee and its network do a fantastic job in driving the diversity and inclusion agenda. But we know that the work doesn’t stop here. There’s much more we can do to achieve a supportive fair and inclusive workplace and we look forward to working towards that goal this year.

Our sincere thanks to the ACON/Pride in Diversity team for helping us make Deutsche Bank a better place to work for all of our local employees.

Glenn Morgan

Interim CEO

dbPride Executive Sponsor

MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON LAWYERS | Small Gold Employer

We are honoured to be recognised as an AWEI Gold tier employer in 2021. This is a significant achievement for McCullough Robertson Lawyers, acknowledging the firm’s commitment to a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment.

As one of Australia’s leading independent law firms, we feel strongly that continuously evolving and challenging ourselves will allow us to do things more inclusively. Our diversity and inclusion strategy aims to create leadership opportunities with no barriers and an inclusive work environment, which allows every individual, regardless of gender, age or background to bring their whole self to work.

A diversity initiative which is continuously gaining members and momentum at McCullough Robertson, is our McR Ally Network ‘McColour’ - a network of LGBTIQ and non-LGBTIQ staff members who support the McColour committee. Allies can feel empowered to call out anti-LGBTIQ behaviour and address negative stereotypes. Allies can help to normalise language and the life of LGBTIQ employees by using inclusive language and talking openly about events, their friends, the network and their views on current political commentary involving LGBTIQ people.

We believe that diversity of thought and approach within our organisation results in richer outcomes for our clients and community and we strive to embrace differences and eliminate biases so that we benefit from the views of all. It’s not just a tick-the-box exercise, but actually how we broaden our thinking process. Particularly around our individual unconscious bias. We have worked hard to provide an environment that celebrates our LGBTIQ+ employees and provides access to opportunities that enable our people to thrive and I would like to thank all of our staff who continue each day, to ensure a workplace where we all continue to achieve our purpose of Unlocking success. Together.

Reece Walker

Chair of Partners

LIBERTY FINANCIAL | Most Improved Small Employer

We’re incredibly proud of the diverse and inclusive culture we have built at Liberty and are humbled to be recognised for our efforts in LGBTQI+ inclusion. We see our diversity and inclusion work as a continuous journey and are committed to being open-minded, open-hearted, and vulnerable to learn from, acknowledge and celebrate our LGBTQI+ community.

At Liberty, the principles of diversity and inclusion are in our DNA. Liberty was founded with the purpose to provide greater choice, with solutions to suit borrowers of all kinds.

To support Liberty’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, Liberty has developed several new LGBTQI+ initiatives. These have the full support and backing of our board, senior leaders and have been enthusiastically adopted by the Liberty community.

Initiatives over the past year that we’re particularly proud of include:

  • LGBTQI+ education and training for all team members.
  • Introducing LGBTQI+ Support Officers, Domestic Violence Support Officers, and a formal grievance process.
  • Developing a Gender Affirmation Policy, including leave, support, and resources.

Our Pride Network execute an annual strategic plan to address and deliver LGBTQI+ initiatives around key dates and important issues with the full support and help of the business.

Liberty is a member of the Diversity Council of Australia the independent not-for-profit body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with all team members also able to access membership and resources.

Over recent years, Liberty has been on a journey with our commitment to diversity and ultimately, to inclusion. We acknowledge that we have a way to go but are proud of what we have already achieved. This AWEI award recognition is a sign that we are heading in the right direction as we look forward to our continued journey ahead.

James Boyle

Chief Executive Officer

Nominated Award Acknowledgements

While additional organisational awards or individual awards given at the Awards Luncheon do not form part of the benchmarking data, they are equally assessed against a strict criteria requiring evidence and in many cases, external endorsements. All organisational and individual award submissions are assessed against a predetermined scoring rubric.

Nominated Award Categories
CEO OF THE YEAR | Katrina Troughton, IBM Australia & New Zealand

Thank you to ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs for their recognition of everything we are seeking to do at IBM in Australia and New Zealand, and for the work they do every day. And thank you to the incredible "EAGLE" LGBTQ+ team in IBM who inspire me through their work and commitment to creating a better IBM - and a better world.

I am deeply humbled to have received this inclusion award because, as a leader, there is still so much to understand and learn on this journey. But one thing I know for certain is that everyone deserves to thrive because of who they are – not despite who they are. Everyone deserves to feel safe and appreciated and to be able to bring their full self to work.

Creating an inclusive work environment regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is not a single person’s or department’s responsibility. We all have a part to play to embed inclusion and diversity in our work cultures.

IBM was a founding member of Pride in Diversity and has been championing inclusion and diversity for over 100 years. Yet despite this rich heritage, each of us still has the opportunity to learn and grow. That is why, wherever we are in the world, we celebrate diversity of thought and inclusion in everything we do. We know that it’s fundamental to our success, which is why inclusion and diversity will always be integral to how we work at IBM.

Katrina Troughton

Managing Director, IBM Australia & New Zealand

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP AWARD | Guy Brent, Woolworths Group

It was a great honour to be the recipient of the 2021 AWEI Executive Leadership Award for LGBTQ+ inclusion and I am incredibly proud that Woolworths Group has been awarded AWEI Gold Tier status for the fourth consecutive year and are now Platinum qualifiers. 

 

I would also like to extend my appreciation and thanks to the Proud Committee and Network, who work very hard to build an inclusive and empowering culture for LGBTQ+ people at Woolworths. Our network of over 2900 team members work together to create better experiences for a better tomorrow. Some of our highlights in Proud include enabling our team members from across the country to participate in pride festivals (where Covid-19 permitted), launching LGBTQ+ Let’s Get Behind the Questions podcast, our new Transgender and Gender Diverse Allies guide and Proud newsletter, as well as celebrating Wear it Purple Day across the Group nationwide and growing our Proud at Woolworths Group to more than 2900 members and counting.

 

We truly have strength in numbers at Woolworths Group. It is a very exciting time to be an Executive Ally and Sponsor of the Proud Network, as we now embark on our Platinum project for LGBTQ+ inclusion.

CUTIVE LEADERSHIP AWARD

Guy Brent

Managing Director FoodCo and Metro

EXTERNAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN AWARD | ABCQueer, Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC)

ABCQueer is the ABC's home of stories and advice for young LGBTQIA+ Australians on Instagram.

Our mission is to create a supportive community for diverse young queer people that gives them hope for the future and makes them proud of who they are.

We aim to provide a platform for underrepresented queer voices including Indigenous, culturally diverse and rural Australians, as well as people with disability who rarely see their intersectional identities reflected in the media.

ABCQueer delivers content primarily on Instagram because it is a platform where young queer people naturally go to engage with content and find community.

The account has grown a highly engaged community of over 13.5K followers in just over a year, who are both the audience and a rich source of talent and ideas.

ABCQueer was born out of an ABC Content Ideas Lab (the ABC’s innovation hub) pilot to engage a young, underrepresented audience. The team consulted with a variety of LGBTQIA+ young people and community groups when developing the project, and appointed Walkley Award winning 7.30 journalist, ABC Pride member and Twenty10 board director Mon Schafter as Content Lead.

After demonstrating significant growth and engagement in its first year, ABCQueer found a permanent home with the ABC’s Regional & Local division in February 2021.

The ABC is honoured to receive the inaugural External Media Campaign award for ABCQueer.

NETWORK LEADER OF THE YEAR | Gina Mills, EY

It is an honour to receive the AWEI 2021 Network Leader of the Year Award. Given the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve felt a strong responsibility this past year to maintain a sense of connection and belonging for EY Unity Network members. Instead of the usual in-person networking events, we switched to a mix of fun online social events, with some powerful, longer term impact initiatives. These included a virtual mentoring program for EY Unity members, a facilitated wavespace™ session focused on bi+ inclusion for 12 major corporates and the flagship EY She Starts Out program, supporting social impact entrepreneurs who identify as LGBTQ women.

I’m privileged to lead a Unity team that is passionate, energetic and purpose-driven and who rose to the challenges presented in this past year without hesitation. Through all these initiatives, I’m most proud to have created connection opportunities for people to collaborate and support each other through difficult times, building long term value in people’s careers, workplaces and

Gina Mills

EY Oceania Unity Network Leader

SALLY WEBSTER ALLY AWARD | Drew Bradford, NAB

When I began my involvement with Pride 4 years ago, NAB was a AWEI Bronze employer and that meant we had a steep journey ahead. We strive to be an organisation that attracts a breadth of talent, as well as support our customers & community, however they identify. Receiving Gold Employer status for the 3rd time in a row is a solid achievement and is reflective of how far we have come in moving our organisation forward. Recognising the incredible value in fostering an environment of inclusivity and diversity, where people are free and comfortable to be themselves, is a huge enabler for our company. My role as an ally is to champion, challenge, communicate – whether through speaking up, asking questions or simply listening. As one of many in the NAB ally network – a strong and determined group of individuals - we are completely committed to supporting diversity, encouraging conversation and removing barriers for LGBTI+ colleagues, customers and community.

Whilst we are making sound progress, there is still much more we can do to make this the best place to work for all colleagues and so we will pick up the pace on delivering actions that support our principles of being respectful, growing together and owning it. I truly believe every organisation should strive to meet the AWEI Benchmark to enhance the way they operate. This will create an environment for us all to aim much higher in supporting the LGBTI+ community as well as all underrepresented groups.

It is an absolute honour to receive the 2021 Sally Webster Ally Award on behalf our whole team and we are committed to continuing the journey forward for NAB.

Drew Bradford

Executive Markets, Corporate & Institutional Bank

NAB Pride Executive Co-Sponsor

SAPPHIRE INSPIRE AWARD | Nic Hennessy, Woolworths Group

I am honoured and privileged to be the awardee of the AWEI Sapphire Inspire Award for 2021. As a bisexual woman, I’ve felt a sense of responsibility to step forward as a role model and be visible so that other under-represented parts of the LGBTQ+ communities at Woolworths Group, will hopefully feel more confident and comfortable to do the same. This has been an incredibly rewarding responsibility which in turn has influenced and increased the amount of LGBTQ+ Women and people of underrepresented genders becoming visible and joining our network, Proud at Woolworths Group.

I am incredibly proud of the work that with the dedication of our network, we were able to deliver in 2020 to create visibility and uplift the stories of LGBTQ+ women and people of underrepresented genders, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some of these particular initiatives are the LGBTQ+ Let’s Get Behind the Questions Podcast of which I am one of the co-hosts, Lesbian Day of Visibility Engagement Campaign, Transgender and Gender Diverse Allies Guide, and the Proud Leadership Development Program.

For any queer women or people who may be perceived as women who may be reading this; never doubt your ability to create change and impact. Being a role model doesn’t mean you have to be the most confident and loudest person in the room. Step forward, role model and lead in the way that you are most comfortable with - leadership comes in all shapes and sizes, and you never know how you might be impacting someone around you and their own story.

Nic Hennessy

Organisation Development Partner for Inclusion, Culture and Leadership, and Co-Chair of Proud at Woolworths Group

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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.