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Australia’s top organisations for LGBTI inclusion announced

RMIT University has been named the 2019 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity – the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion in Australia.

More than 730 business leaders, diversity champions and HR professionals representing all sectors and employer sizes came together at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney to celebrate the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) – a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking tool that annually assesses workplaces in the progress and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

This year reflects the greatest diversity of top employers achieving Platinum and Gold Employer Status in the history of the AWEI. It is also the first time that a non-private commercial organisation has been awarded Employer of the Year status.

This year top employers spanned public, private, higher education and not-for-profit sectors:

  • Four employers have been awarded Platinum Status for longevity in high performance (Accenture, LendLease, ANZ, UWA).
  • Two employers have qualified for Platinum Status next year (EY, Macquarie Group).
  • 14 employers have been awarded Gold Status for highest results within the current year.
  • The Small Employer component of the index also saw an increase in participation and scores with Initiative Media taking out the Small Employer of the Year.

 The year’s awards were attended by a record number of CEOs and business leaders with Qantas CEO and Patron, Alan Joyce, providing this year’s keynote address.

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said there has been continued growth in participation in the index since its launch in 2010.

“This is the ninth year of the AWEI and, once again, we have record numbers of employers across all sectors and states participating in the index. The accompanying employee survey elicited a staggering 27,349 responses, which underscores the importance of LGBTI inclusion in the workplace,” Hough said.

“Practice is continuing to shift significantly in this space with employers across Australia not only maintaining their commitment to LGBTI inclusion but in fact strengthening their inclusion initiatives and activities. Scores required to obtain the various tiers of recognition have continued to increase. We are delighted with the continual growth and focus exercised within this area of diversity and inclusion,” Hough said.

Pride in Diversity is part of Pride Inclusion Programs, a suite of social inclusion programs delivered by ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTQ health organisation. Pride Inclusion Programs also includes Pride In Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing.

This year awards also celebrated the results of the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI) focusing on LGBT inclusive service provision. The award for Inclusive Service Provider of the Year went to Uniting, which is also a Gold Employer in the AWEI.

“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 and service provider sectors as well,” Hough said.

“Congratulations to all award winners recognised today on their significant achievements and for showing great leadership in LGBTI inclusion.”

Pride Inclusion Programs will next celebrate LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport at the second Australian Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne on 12 June. Held at Cargo Hall, the event will be hosted by NITV’s Matty Webb and attended by Pride in Sport co-patrons Alex Blackwell and Daniel Kowalski, along with several other leading sporting and community figures.

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

Pictured: Pride In Diversity Co-Patron Alan Joyce with representatives from RMIT, 2019 Employer of the Year

 

2019 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards

 

2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index Award Recipients

 

Employer of the Year        

RMIT University

 

LGBTI Employee Network of the Year           

LGBTI ERG, LendLease

 

Platinum Employers (Long-term Gold Employers)      

Accenture

ANZ

LendLease

University of Western Australia

 

Platinum Qualifiers for 2020            

EY

Macquarie Group

 

Gold Employers   

Australian Taxation Office

Brisbane City Council

Clayton Utz

Deakin University

Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet

EY

Macquarie Bank Limited

MinterEllison

NAB

PwC

QBE Insurance Australia

RMIT University

Uniting

Woolworths Group

 

Small Employer Gold

Initiative Media

Oliver Wyman

BlackRock Investment Management Australia

 

Small Employer of the Year              

Initiative Media

 

Most Improved Employer

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

 

Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion

RMIT University

 

External Media Campaign

‘The Road to Broken Hill’ AAMI, Suncorp

 

Executive Leadership

Andrea Kenafake, Brisbane City Council

 

Network Leader of the Year

Cameron Tirendi, BHP

 

Out Role Model

Nicholas Steepe, Charles Sturt University

 

Sapphire Inspire

Caitlin Monnery-Korving, ANZ

 

The Sally Webster Ally Award          

Joint winners: Ian Bennett (PwC) & Superintendent Richard Roberts (AFP – posthumously awarded)

 

2019 Health + Wellbeing Equality Index Award Recipients

 

LGBTI Inclusive Service Provider of the Year

Uniting

 

Gold Service Providers

Reliant Healthcare

Flourish Australia

Uniting

 

ENDS

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

New Benchmarking Tool To Assess LGBTI Inclusion Amongst Health And Wellbeing Providers Launches

A new benchmarking tool launched by leading LGBTI inclusion initiative, Pride Inclusion Programs, now provides health and wellbeing organisations the opportunity to assess, measure and improve their practices to better include LGBTI people in their services.

The Health + Wellbeing Equality Index is Australia’s first instrument to annually benchmark LGBTI inclusive service provision amongst organisations in the health, human services and wellbeing sectors. The index is administered by Pride in Health + Wellbeing, a national program that provides support, training and guidance in LGBTI inclusive service delivery. Pride in Health + Wellbeing is part of Pride Inclusion Programs, a suite of social inclusion initiatives delivered by Australia’s leading LGBTI health organisation, ACON.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index will be an important resource for health and wellbeing service providers across Australia.

“With significant health disparities between LGBTI and non-LGBTI people and issues many LGBTI people experience in accessing important and critical health services such as perceived or previously experienced stigma, discrimination, harassment or refusal of service, this index is an instrumental tool for service providers as they seek to be more inclusive of all Australians,” Mr Parkhill said.

“We are proud to announce the launch of this index, which builds on ACON’s decades-long experience in LGBTI health and wellbeing. This instrument, in addition to our Pride in Health + Wellbeing support program, will provide a much-needed resource for those seeking to ensure full inclusivity of LGBTI people within the services and programs that they offer and will assist providers in working towards the Rainbow Tick accreditation if that is their ultimate goal,” Mr Parkhill said.

Participation will give service providers clear guidelines on getting started or on progressing their work in LGBTI inclusive service provision, as well as an opportunity to survey both staff and service users regardless of how they identify going forward.

The Health + Wellbeing Equality Index builds on from Pride Inclusion Programs’ benchmarking instruments, the Pride in Sport Index and the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said just as the AWEI has been instrumental in shifting practices in LGBTI inclusion in workplaces across Australia, the Health + Wellbeing Equality Indexwill be critical in improving health and wellbeing service provision.

“The feedback provided as a result of participation will allow health and wellbeing providers to not only focus their inclusion work in areas of good practice, but also determine annually what they need to do to improve,” Ms Hough said.

“As index participation grows, the benchmarking data will provide a valuable reference in terms of current best practice as well as both qualitative and quantitative data to show improvements in their service provision.”

Participants to the index do not need to be a member of the Pride in Health + Wellbeing support program to take part. Submissions can be made online and close Friday 8 March 5pm.

For more information about the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index, and Pride Inclusion Programs, go to www.prideinclusionprograms.com.au/health-index

 

Media enquiries:

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

 

Spotlight On Corporate LGBTI Inclusion In Australia’s Largest Employee Survey

The findings from the country’s largest survey into lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) inclusion within Australian workplaces have been released, detailing a range of attitudes and responses on how inclusion initiatives within the workplace have impacted LGBTI and non-LGBTI employees.

The 2018 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Employee Survey canvassed employees from around Australia on their organisation’s LGBTI inclusion efforts, to determine views on current initiatives, the impact within their workplaces and the overall message of diversity and inclusion. The survey has been conducted by Pride in Diversity, ACON’s national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

This year, 23,120 surveys were completed from employees working at 89 different organisations, and of all respondents, 3,709 identified as LGBTI. The survey was open to all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

Heterosexual respondents comprised 76 per cent of the total, with gay and bisexual men comprising 9.2 per cent, lesbian and bisexual women comprising 6.7 per cent, and trans and gender diverse people comprising 1.5 per cent. Double the proportion of intersex respondents (65) responded in 2018 as opposed to 2017.

“LGBTI employees want diverse workplaces where they feel included and supported – it isn’t only a moral imperative, it’s also just good business,” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said.

“Fear of abuse or discrimination forces many LGBTI people to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity when they access health and wellbeing services, leading in many cases to an increase in anxiety or depression.

“The work Pride in Diversity does in helping businesses as well as employees create more diverse and productive workplaces, is making real and substantial cultural change within Australian workplaces. There is however, so much more work to be done, as evidenced by some of these results, to ensure all Australians can be themselves at work.”

Some of the key survey findings include:

  • One in ten non-LGBTI employees believe that LGBTI inclusion at work is no longer necessary following marriage equality; only 73 per cent of non-LGBTI employees agree that inclusion work is still necessary, compared to 91 per cent of LGBTI respondents, indicating that, for the latter group, there is still much to be done in supporting diversity at work.
  • Over 88 per cent of non-LGBTI respondents believe that LGBTI employees can comfortably be themselves at their workplace, compared to 80 per cent of LGBTI respondents. However, those LGBTI employees working at organisations active in inclusion feel much more comfortable, with 86 per cent believing they can comfortably be themselves at work.
  • Almost 10 per cent of LGB respondents from regional areas reported experiencing negative commentary or jokes, more than double the proportion experiencing these in the cities. An even higher number reported having been personally experienced bullied in the past year – almost 12 per cent in regional areas, compared to 6 per cent in metropolitan areas.
  • More than 13 per cent of gender diverse employees experienced ‘very high’ or ‘high’ levels of anxiety during the recruitment processes.
  • 22 per cent of LGB respondents in regional areas were also more likely to expend energy hiding their sexuality to fit in – compared to 18 per cent of those working in the city.
  • Gay men are the most likely to feel that inclusion initiatives have had a positive impact on how they feel about their sexual orientation (60 per cent) compared to 52 per cent of lesbians.

“Even with some recent successes in achieving LGBTI rights, there is still a tremendous amount of work to do, and it is important that in all aspects of Australian working life that we have businesses comprising of leaders, advocates and allies within Australia’s major business, governmental, sporting, health and educational institutions who know the importance of LGBTI inclusion,” Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, Dawn Hough said.

“This positivity and support surrounding LGBTI inclusion within these workplaces is a testament to Australian employers and the incredible work that they have done in the area of diversity and inclusion, and Pride in Diversity have been honoured to be a part of that journey. We would like to acknowledge survey partners Dr. Ilro Lee, Academic Advisor and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow AGSM, Helen Conway, Goldman Sachs for their publication support and Dentons for hosting the survey launch event we held on August 24.

“This survey and the work being done to make workplaces inclusive of all Australians, not only speaks to the importance of the work Pride in Diversity does, but is also something which employers can be extremely proud.”

 

The results of the 2018 AWEI Employee survey can be found here.

 

ENDS

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

What did EY do, to be named the most inclusive employer in Australia?

OUT IN PERTH – 28 May, 2018

Professional services firm EY was named Australia’s most inclusive employer at the Pride in Diversity Awards last week.

Lynn Kraus, Managing Partner for Advisory – and the executive sponsor for Unity, the organisation’s LGBTIQ network, chatted to OUTinPerth about what the organisation has done to change their workplaces over the last few years.

“We are super excited and absolutely humbled,” Kraus said of the organisation’s achievement in the awards. “Its an amazing group of organisations every year when we go to the awards, and this year what they are all doing is really inspiring.”

Kraus said the EY team were surprised to be named as the winner in 2018 but its a goal they’d been working towards for a long time.

“It’s been five years of really hard work.” Kraus said noting that back in 2013 the company landed in the 35th position nationally.  “To get from where we were five years ago to where we are today has been a lot of hard work, a lot of resilience and a lot of persistence.”

Kraus said the organisation had invested a lot of time into making sure that EY was not only an attractive workplace for LGBTI employees but also ensuring that the entire workplace was inclusive of everybody.

“We’ve done a lot of awareness training and education, but also brought in some partners that have helped us focus on that journey.” Kraus said citing a collaboration with mental health group Reach Out as a key ingredient in the company’s change management process.

The process of bringing in change at EY has involved everything from having a great time marching in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, to holding awareness sessions for staff members, and sponsoring Sydney’s gay rugby team The Convicts.

“It’s not just for employees who identify as LGBTIQ.” Kraus said, “There are also parents among our staff who have children who are coming out, and it’s created a support network for them too.”

EY have also been eager to share there experiences with other companies in their industry, encouraging their competitors and collaborates to also embrace diversity.

“There’s not just one thing you can do that’s going to make a different, its got to be everything and its got to be constant.”

Kraus said she was particularly proud of the fact that EY had been one of the first large companies to voice support for marriage equality.

“That was tough because as an organisation we went out early on and said we were supportive, when maybe that’s not where everyone was at. We had a lot of people challenge us, and question us.” Kraus said.

“We did know that we could speak on behalf of our employees and say that they wanted an inclusive workplace, and that’s what we try to create everyday.”

The Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, are hosted 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.

2018 AWEI awards Uniting for commitment to LGTBIQ inclusion

INSIGHTS MAGAZINE – 26 May, 2018

Uniting has won three awards in the 2018 Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI), recognising the faith-based organisation for its commitment to inclusivity and support for the LGBTIQ community.

The AWEI awards are an independent benchmark of the actions taken by Australian organisations as LGBTIQ-inclusive employers. More than 130 organisations entered the 2018 AWEI awards by demonstrating their inclusiveness in the previous calendar year, which are then benchmarked against other organisations.

“All Uniting community services, including youth services, aged care and chaplaincy, are backed by an organisation-wide commitment to inclusion and diversity. We welcome all people irrespective of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or intersex status,” Uniting Director Customer, People and Systems, Jill Reich said.

The three AWEI awards presented to Uniting in 2018 are:

  1. A gold employer award, one of only 12 awarded and the only non-government not­ for-profit to receive the award this year;
  2. The award for Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion; and
  3. Uniting team member, Kimberly Olsen, was awarded the Sapphire Inspire Award for lesbian, bi or trans women of influence in the workforce.

In the last two years Uniting has also won the following AWEI awards;  the Pride in Diversity gold employer award and Best Not-For-Profit in 2016, and a silver employer award in 2017.

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW/ACT General Secretary, Rev. Jane Fry congratulated Uniting for their achievements.

“How fantastic to see Uniting recognised (again) for its inspiring work and ongoing commitment to inclusivity in all its operations. This is a real example of what it means to recognise the image of God in all people,” said Rev. Fry.

Ms Reich said that confronting injustice in order to create an inclusive and just world is one of the major aims of Uniting.

“This includes advocating for compassion and inclusivity for all Australians, including the many LGBTIQ members of our community,” Ms Reich said.

“These awards recognise Uniting’s ethos of welcoming people exactly as they are. In addition to promoting inclusivity within the workplace, Uniting teams also proudly participate in LGBTIQ community events across the state, including the Broken Heel Festival in Broken Hill, Fruitopia Festival in Lismore, and Pride Marches in Dubbo.

“Uniting Church members have also participated in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 1998, and have marched alongside Uniting in recent years.”

In addition to being the only faith based organisation to receive the AWEI awards, Uniting was also the first faith-based organisation in Australia to receive Rainbow Tick accreditation, which it first received in 2015 for aged care and corporate services.

The Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards reveal top employers

SBS NEWS – 26 May, 2018

Financial services company EY won ‘Employer of the Year’ at the 2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards.

The event recognises leaders, individuals and networks that have made a significant impact on inclusion in their workplaces.

Seven-hundred people attended Friday’s luncheon, which was hosted by Pride in Diversity, the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

The winners are determined by the Australian Workplace Equality Index.

In 2018, for the first time, there was a significant shift in the makeup of top employers, which in the past has been dominated by financial and professional services.

While this year saw representation from various levels of government, including the Australian Taxation Office and Brisbane City Council, retail giants like Woolworths and Melbourne’s RMIT University made the list.

The energy and resources sector also made the cut, with AGL Energy noted for its inclusion of LGBTI staff.

Religious organisations were also recognised, with Uniting the highest ranking not-for-profit/charity.

Luke Sayers, PwC Chief Executive Officer, who won the CEO of the Year Award told SBS News that diversity is key to a successful workplace.

“The more diverse the thinking, the more diverse the experiences, the better the outcome.”

[click here for original article with video from Awards Ceremony]

COMMONWEALTH BANK AND WESTPAC AMONG BIG WINNERS AT THIS YEAR’S LGBTI INCLUSION AWARDS

STAR OBSERVER – MAY 25, 2018

Professional services firm EY has been named employer of the year for LGBTI inclusion at this year’s Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards.

Hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity in Sydney, the event saw more than 700 business leaders, diversity champions, and professionals gather to celebrate the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

The index itself is an evidence-based benchmarking instrument used to assess workplaces in the work and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

This year’s top employers spanned were diverse, spanning various levels of government (Australian Taxation Office and Brisbane City Council), retails (Woolworths), higher education (RMIT University), and energy resources (AGL Energy).

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, Dawn Hough, said the index has seen remarkable growth over the first eight years of its life.

“This year we’ve 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,” she said.

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

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

The AWEI saw 135 employers across Australia participate this year, 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.

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

See the full list of 2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards recipients below:

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

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.”