Australia’s top organisations for LGBTI inclusion announced

ACON LGBTI Inclusion Awards Professional Services firm EY has been named Australia’s 2018 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.

More than 700 business leaders, diversity champions, HR professionals and many more actively working on LGBTI inclusion came together at Sydney’s Hyatt Regency today (Friday 25 May) 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.

“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,” said Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs.

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,” added Ms Hough.

2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards Recipients:

Employer of the Year: EY
LGBTI Employee Network of the Year: Prism – Energy Australia
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

Pride Inclusion Programs will next celebrate LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport with the inaugural Australian Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne on 19 June. 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, visit: for details.

Image: Award Winners at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards – photo courtesy of ACON / Pride In Diversity