What is a Platinum Project?
Some organisations choose to shift their focus onto an area that is of particular interest to their organisation or industry and conduct a project to address specific challenges.
A Platinum Project cycle covers 2 years. It allows an organisation to do a deep dive into a particular area of interest; it must still have an LGBTQ workplace inclusion focus. In the first year, the organisation determines the focus and scope of their project and submits a proposal. In the second year, the organisation completes the project work, assesses the outcome and prepares a Project Report.
Following achieving Platinum recognition, the organisation decides what they would like to work on, scopes out their project and prepares a Platinum Project proposal. PID member organisations can work with their Relationship Manager to ensure criteria are met. They should submit their proposal to Pride in Diversity no later than December of the year that they achieved Platinum status*.
THE PLATINUM PROJECT consists of 4 parts:
- Part I: Proposal: the first part of this Submission, where you will detail planned objectives, outcomes, and other deliverables
- Part II: Outcomes: the second part of this Submission, where you will detail the results of the Project
- Report: a detailed 4 – 8-page Report of you Project and all relevant and essential items (to be included within Part II)
- Summary: a 1-page summary of the Report (to be included within Part II)
Once they receive confirmation that their Proposal has been approved, they spend the next 12 months working on their project.
Upon successful completion of their Project, the organisation will prepare a Project report, and submit this at the same time as the standard AWEI submission deadline, at the end of February. Again, members may work with their RM to ensure their report meets the criteria.
If successful, they will be announced as retaining Platinum status at the annual Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards in May.
So, for example, an organisation who was awarded Platinum in May 2022 would prepare and submit their proposal by December 2022. They would work on their project during 2023, and submit their report in February 2024, and be announced as retaining Platinum in May 2024.
Current Platinum Projects (to be completed)
- AGL Energy
- Australian Taxation Office
- Capgemini Australia
- Deloitte Australia
- Deutsche Bank (Small Employer)
- QBE Insurance
- Woolworths Group
Historical Platinum Projects
Since the Oceania EY Unity network was formed, there has been an underrepresentation of LGBTQ women involved in the network, and while the network has grown significantly over the years, the number of self-identifying women has remained low.
For the AWEI Platinum Project (“the Project”), we proposed to develop a dedicated initiative to drive LGBTQ female engagement and participation in the Unity network. We therefore created “She Starts Out”, a business mentoring program targeted at LGBTQ female social impact entrepreneurs. This program allows EY people to provide skilled volunteering to social impact entrepreneurs who identify as LGBTQ women, and help those women develop and scale their businesses for success.
EY people will deliver 6 business clinics to the selected cohort, and the participants will also be individually matched with an EY mentor to provide further support during the term of the program. The program was designed and built internally in the second half of 2020, launched externally in January 2021 and will run from March – June 2021.
This differentiated focus has uplifted the profile and visibility of LGBTQ women at EY significantly, and we have witnessed a 450% increase in the number of openly identifying LGBTQ women in Unity in the past 12 months.
Very little academic research has been undertaken around LGBTQ+ employment in the construction sector globally despite construction being a major employer with unique challenges compared to other sectors, including:
- a large proportion of sub-contract workers on sites;
- micro cultures dependent on local site leadership;
- a mix of blue and white collar employment; and
- great diversity in employment locations from large CBD projects to small regional and remote areas.
To address this need Lendlease partnered with academics from the University of New South Wales to research the barriers to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the construction sector. The researchers had expertise in gender, construction management and human rights and co-designed the research in conjunction with Lendlease.
The research involved an international literature review and semi-structured interviews with 23 LGBTQ+ participants from NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania. Participants covered a range of genders, sexual orientations, work locations, and work backgrounds including senior leadership through to on site trades.
Interviews focussed on participants careers in the construction industry and their experiences as LGBTQ+ workers, how they have navigated identity at home and work, effectiveness of existing diversity and inclusion strategies in the workplace and opportunities for inclusion.
A report summarising the key findings from the research and recommendations to address will be published during 2021. It is anticipated this will provide a base level of understanding amongst industry employers enabling them to work collaboratively to improve the LGBTQ+ inclusivity of the sector.
If you would like to register to receive the report when it is released and be included in future communications on this topic please email email@example.com
Lendlease looks forward to promoting these findings throughout the sector and continuing to lead the conversation on LGBTQ+ inclusion for the property and construction industry as we deepen our engagement with our own workforce on LGBTQ+ inclusion beyond the corporate office environment.
Using a human centred design approach, our Pride at Macquarie Employee Network Group (ENG) identified three initiatives to create meaningful impact for our SGD employees who identify as female:
- Create a global community within Macquarie for SGD women hosted on our collaboration and connection platform Workplace by Facebook, called ‘Women of Pride’
- Engage our Macquarie and external allies by hosting events where they could hear the experiences of SGD women, and provide a safe space for people to educate themselves, ask questions and build their understanding of the unique experiences of SGD women
- Leverage the power of storytelling to increase awareness of the unique experience of SGD women across Macquarie and share experiences and stories externally to increase awareness and highlight role models in our industry, communities and more broadly.
Our Pride at Macquarie ENG delivered these initiatives in a virtual environment in light of our move to remote ways of working due to COVID-19. To measure the impact of our project we collected feedback and conducted surveys to understand engagement.
Feedback from Women of Pride, members of the Pride@Macquarie ENG, allies and the broader Macquarie population speak to the positive impact of the Platinum Project. Delivered during a time where remote working impacted people’s wellbeing, relationships and sense of belonging in various ways, the project contributed to an environment where SGD women could connect, network and feel a sense of belonging.
The increased visibility of SGD women and opportunity to share their unique experiences has uplifted our collective understanding and provided the opportunity to feature SGD role models who have not been featured in the past. It has also contributed to increased participation and visibility of SGD women, with an increase of SGD women on the Pride@Macquarie committee.
In 2021, the Pride at Macquarie ENG will continue to focus on the inclusion and psychological safety of our SGD women, ensuring visibility of role models, diversity of experiences shared and participation of SGD women across all streams of the ENG.
As we move to more hybrid ways of working, including in-person events and working from our offices, we will explore hosting networking events for Women of Pride, and find ways we can continue to build the connections and community.
The experience of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Students at The University of Western Australia: Research Report 2016 (Attachment A) identified that;
- 7% of participants reported not disclosing their sexual orientation, gender history/expression or history of transition at UWA in the preceding 12 months in order to avoid harassment or discrimination
- 8% of students said their sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression had affected their ability to socialise at UWA
- 1 in 5 students participants said their sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression had disrupted their academic progress
In addition, the Telethon Kids Institute Trans Pathways study (Attachment B) found that;
- 9% of Trans youth have experienced discrimination
- 89% had experienced peer rejection and 74% had experienced bullying Project intentions
- In response to the above research done, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education sponsored the collaborative work of the Strategy, Planning and Performance department, the LGBTIQA+ Working Group and the Education Enhancement Unit to develop and promote a blended learning resource kit called Project Peacock for academic and professional staff that would:
- Improve the student experience by facilitating a safer learning and teaching environment for LGBTIQA+ students
- Increase access to development opportunities by providing training resources to students and staff in remote locations using existing technology
- Support and extend our existing offering of Ally training to remote staff and students and those off campus.
What is Project Peacock?
Project Peacock is a suite of three self-paced fully online modules for academic staff to equip themselves with tips and techniques to improve the student experience across resources, digital spaces, and physical classrooms.
Although the University offers Ally Training, Project Peacock is not focused on just the “classroom” experience. It builds on UWA’s focus on improving student experience and providing access and resources to our regional and remote staff and students from Albany, Geraldton and those not physically located at our Perth campus.
Professional staff make up 67% of our fulltime positions and often have access to more professional development opportunities than Academics. We noticed that there is often an over representation of professional staff at Ally training with relatively few academics attending face to face training.
Project Peacock is both scalable & efficient as we are limited in the amount of face2face training we can deliver each year. The modules are self-paced and self-assessed, taking participants between 1–3 hours to complete. They provide video content covering the acronym and the diverse lived experiences and intersectionality represented by the staff, students, alumni and the LBGTIQA+ and broader UWA community who are featured.
- Increased engagement with UWA communities of practise such as the LGBTIQA+ working group, Pride and Diversity, Blackstone Society and the Inclusion and Diversity Committee who have all partnered together to develop this resource kit.
- UWA now has a weekly Ally Network newsletter to raise awareness of any issues and keep staff and students informed.
- A range of departments across the University are now collaborating and partnering together to focus on the student experience.
- The project has provided a resource that will be made available to the WA community and the wider Pride and Diversity network.
- A pilot feedback session was run at the Pride in Practice Conference and findings are included.
- External Community Engagement – eight UWA alumni and community members (who are from AWEI participating organisations) agreed to participate and share their experiences on video.
The PrideAtAccenture Platinum project sought to plan, deliver and measure a year long project aimed at the reduction of unconscious bias towards LGBTI employees at work.
The highlight of the project was a 4 week campaign to be held during Pride Month 2017 for which 20 working day campaign materials were developed alongside a plan to reinforce key messages throughout the remainder of the year.
Accenture leaders were engaged early within the program, playing an active role during and after the campaign. Clearly defined metrics were defined to measure the outcomes of the program along with the establishment of a lasting legacy: the ability to share the lived experiences of LGBTI employees using a combination of cutting edge approaches including storytelling, gamification, leadership role modelling and social collaboration.
We are extremely proud of our progress towards LGBTI inclusion at Lendlease. Since 2009 we have been proactively driving awareness, developing and supporting our leaders, and celebrating with our LGBTI community.
Our business is enormously diverse, and with over half of our workforce working from construction sites, satellite offices or in our varied assets, we were concerned that our usual communication and training channels may not always reach our remote teams. So, to ensure we reached our entire workforce, we changed the way we shared our messages and showed our support.
Our approach was two-fold:
1. Inclusive Leadership;
2. Site Network and Awareness Campaign.
Firstly, we focused on inclusive leadership, involving both Out Leaders and Ally Leaders to share their personal stories on why LGBTI Inclusion is important to them. We created a series of Out Leader videos with recognisable leaders, who shared their story and the impact of LGBTI exclusion; provided advice to other LGBTI employees and explained how people can show their support. These videos were used in team meetings and are available on our intranet.
The other core element was our site network and awareness campaign. We focused on connecting the core message of inclusion to a topic very familiar with our business and industry – mental health. We discussed rates of depression and suicide in the LGBTI community to reinforce the importance of driving LGBTI inclusion at work.
To assist our leaders, we developed a Manager Toolkit that included the key messages, promotional materials such as rainbow laces, purple shirts and posters plus a range of activities with instructions to help generate a conversation and team involvement.
Knowing how diverse our teams are, we empowered our leaders to determine what resources would work best for their local teams and how they would approach the event, considering the time and technology available to them.
Leader briefing sessions, conducted with the LGBTI Employee Resource Group, provided an opportunity for leaders to discuss their approach, and in a safe environment, ask questions and receive coaching on how to manage different questions and reactions from the team.
We held events in over 160 locations around Australia aligned to Wear It Purple Day. We were overwhelmed by the support shown and how actively the teams participated. Photos and stories were shared via our internal social media platform, Yammer, and there were many examples where our employees shared the message of LGBTI inclusion with family, friends and industry connections.
At Westpac we’re proud of our LGBTIQ inclusion journey.
In 2017 we embarked on an ambitious program of work for our AWEI Platinum Project. Over the preceding years we had taken significant steps to ensure our LGBTIQ workforce and allies felt comfortable to be themselves and supported at work.
Engagement had been particularly strong in our Metropolitan locations however we recognised that those in regional locations often faced greater challenges to feel included.
As such we set ourselves the vision for our Platinum project to grow our remote and regional reach of LGBTIQ inclusion so that all our LGBTIQ employees felt supported no matter where they go to work. It was a busy year and the same sex marriage debate brought an increased urgency for us to support our LGBTIQ employees, and those close to them, particularly those outside our main metropolitan locations.
Working with stakeholders at all levels of our business our platinum project enabled us to:
Grow our regional membership of GLOBAL significantly;
Utilise new technology and social media to ensure our events were accessible to all;
Establish and grow our LGBTIQ support, events and awareness in every state through a significantly new regional and interstate structure;
Organise Australia’s first LGBTIQ corporate organised summit in Sydney attended by over 250 guests half of which travelling from our regional locations around Australia.
The work of our Platinum Project continues.
We recognise the challenge of regional LGBTIQ reach is not unique to Westpac Group. In 2018 and beyond are continuing to partner and support businesses and local community organisations so that we help to build regional inclusion for those that need it most.
"Our long involvement with Pride in Diversity, as a founding member in 2010 and participating in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) every year since, has been key to driving and evaluating our progress around lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) workplace inclusion.
We are proud that our internal focus has seen the firm feature consistently in the Top 10 of the AWEI since its inception. We were named employer of the year in 2014, and achieved Platinum Status in 2016, recognising our significant achievements in LGBTI inclusion.
Now, we are excited that our Platinum Status provides the firm the platform to work on a unique inclusion project which will benefit Pride in Diversity, our fellow members and the community at large."
To read more about Goldman Sachs' Platinum Project, pleas download a copy of their Platinum Employer Report.
"PwC was honoured to be recognised as the AWEI top employer of the year in 2012 and 2015 for our commitment to LGBTI inclusion. We were the first organisation in Australia to receive this award twice.
In 2016, as a platinum tier organisation, we extended our commitment to LGBTI inclusion across three areas:
1. Factbased evidence on the best way to achieve marriage equality
PwC undertook economic modelling on the costs associated with the three parliamentary mechanisms available to change Australia’s current definition of marriage in the Marriage Act, including a plebiscite. The report produced over 25 million media impressions nationally in turn spurring commentary and debate about the issue from politicians, clients, business peers and the general public.
2. Strategic advice to create the Pride Centre
PwC was appointed by the Victorian government to undertake a feasibility study for the establishment of a Pride Centre in Melbourne. The PwC team, led by the real estate advisory practice, established a model for a selfsustaining centre where LGBTI communities could cohabitate, collaborate and share resources. On 20th April 2016, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced $15 million in funding toward the Pride Centre that will serve as a hub for the LGBTI community, as part of its 2016/2017 Victorian Budget. In October 2016, PwC were engaged to support the next phase of the Pride Centre which included further community consultation, the short listing and selection of potential sites and the development of the business case.
3. Engaging broadly on the importance of workplace LGBTI inclusion
We coordinated two CEO roundtables with PiD, with over 30 CEOs from Australia’s largest businesses participating. PwC’s CEO roundtable has now become an established event on the annual PiD calendar.
PwC took a lead role in the creation of the PiD Executive Allies network led by partner Ian Bennett. The group, formed to accelerate LGBTI inclusion in Australian workplaces by leveraging the power of influential and impassioned straight allies, has over 35 members across a range of companies.
We used our media relationships to proactively improve the media’s coverage of workplace issues, in particular to reinforce the importance of workplace inclusion. This included the flagship business package for the 2016 SBS Mardi Gras coverage, which featured PwC and PiD staff. SBS also profiled the Chair of our Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, Paul Zahra.
CEO Luke Sayers was profiled in the AFR’s Boss Magazine and used this platform to advocate for marriage equality in Australia. PwC is proud of the continued progress we have made over the past year in fostering an inclusive culture and we are committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion remains at the centre of our strategy. Through our interactions with our peers and clients in the business community, we continue to encourage others to have a voice on diversity and inclusion."