Australia’s top organisations for LGBTI inclusion announced

ANZ GAYTMs editorialANZ has been named Australia’s 2017 Employer of the Year for the first time at the sell-out Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, a special event held yesterday (Friday 19 May) in Sydney by ACON’s national not-for-profit program, Pride in Diversity.

The Employer of the Year heads an annual list of top employers for LGBTI inclusion determined by an assessment against the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a benchmarking instrument that evaluates LGBTI inclusivity against a rigorous and comprehensive set of measures, in addition to a body of supporting evidence submitted by the employer as part of the evaluation process.

Over 640 business leaders, diversity and HR professionals, and representatives from LGBTI employee groups attended the Pride in Diversity luncheon and awards ceremony at Doltone House, which this year incorporated the results of the inaugural Pride in Sport Index (PSI) and featured keynote speakers former High Court justice Michael Kirby and cricketer Alex Blackwell.

As well as being named Employer of the Year, ANZ was also acknowledged for its work in inclusion of transgender people and ANZ’s Pride Network Specialist Dave Beks was recognised with the award for Out Role Model.

This year’s awards featured the new category of Platinum Employer, 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. The inaugural awardees of Platinum Employer status are Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The University of Western Australia and Accenture.

Ten organisations that achieved the highest ranking within the past year were awarded Gold Employer status: AGL Energy, Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, Bankwest, Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank, EY, Macquarie Bank and NSW Police Force. NSW Police Force also received the honour of being the first organisation to receive an award for the inclusion of intersex people.

Ten other organisations were awarded Silver Employer status and a further 34 were recognised with Bronze Employer Status. EnergyAustralia picked up the achievement award for most improved employer and the Commonwealth Bank’s Unity network was named LGBTI Employee Network of the Year.

A record number of CEOs and C-Suite leaders attended this year’s awards luncheon, including Deloitte CEO Cindy Hook, who was recognised at CEO of the Year for her role in LGBTI inclusion.

“The ever growing success of the outreach to the business, sporting and general community is most heartening,” said Pride in Diversity Patron Michael Kirby. “It is part of the explanation for the changing attitudes of Australians of all walks of life towards LGBTIQ equality and justice. In cities, regional, remote and rural Australia, things are changing.”

The AWEI saw 116 employers across Australia participate this year – a 38% increase compared to 2016. The employee survey attached to the index received 16,759 responses. By participating in the AWEI and the employee survey, employers are able to benchmark their practice against other organisations and obtain annual data on the impact initiatives are having on their employees.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs Dawn Hough said: “The AWEI has seen remarkable growth over the first seven years of its life with this year seeing the most significant growth to date,” said Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs.

“While there is still a long way to go, Hough said that 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 field as well. ACON congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion.”

The awards also acknowledged, for the first time, the work of Australian sporting organisations in LGBTI inclusion. Ten sporting organisations participated in the inaugural Pride in Sport Index (PSI), a world first national benchmarking instrument designed to assess LGBTI inclusivity within Australian sport. The Australian Football League was named the inaugural winner of the PSI Organisation of the Year Award.

AFL’s Inclusion and Social Policy General Manager Tanya Hosch said: “The AFL is honoured to be recognised as a leader for LGBTI inclusion in sport. The AFL was delighted to contribute to the implementation of the PSI. The AFL found the benchmarking exercise extremely valuable as a means to review and reflect on its LGBTI inclusion policies and practices across the Australian Football industry.”

The Inclusive Club award was given to St Kilda Football Club and the Water Polo Pride Cup was recognised with the Inclusive Sports Initiative award. David Pocock, Vice-Captain of ACT Super Rugby club The Brumbies, was acknowledged with the award for LGBTI Ally.

“It’s a real honour to win the inaugural Pride in Sport Champion Ally Award,” said Mr Pocock. “I believe that sport is at its best when it is challenging society to be more inclusive and there have been so many people involved in driving this change. In rugby, may I make special mention of [Pride in Sport Index Co-founder] Andrew Purchas, who has been challenging the sport to become more accepting and inclusive, and all the people who have shown leadership in this area.”

“The support from the major sports of the Pride in Sport Index is a good example of this change. I also want to congratulate all the other winners, including the inaugural Pride in Sport Index Organisation of the Year, AFL,” added Mr Pocock.

2017 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards Recipients:

Employer of the Year: ANZ
LGBTI Employee Network of the Year: Unity, CBA
CEO of the Year: Cindy Hook  – Deloitte
Platinum Employers: Accenture, Goldman Sachs, PwC, University of Western Australia
Gold Employers: AGL Energy, Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, Bankwest, Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank, EY, Macquarie Bank,  NSW Police Force
Small Employer: Key Assets, The Children’s Services Provider (Australia)
Most Improved Employer: Energy Australia
Transgender Inclusion: ANZ
Intersex Inclusion: NSW Police Force
Innovation and Engagement: Medibank, I Am Better Campaign
Executive Leadership: Lynn Kraus – EY
Network Leader of the Year: Dane Renner – Woodside Energy Ltd
Out Role Model: Dave Beks – ANZ
Sapphire Inspire: Tracy Taylor – Accenture
Community Impact: Jackie Braw – NSW Police Force
Training Impact: Australian Federal Police
The Sally Webster Ally Award: Lori Turner – Medibank
Inclusive Sports Initiative: Water Polo Pride Cup
Inclusive Club: St Kilda Football Club
Pride in Sport Index Organisation of the Year: Australian Football League
Out Role Model  (Sport): Jason Ball – Yarra Glen Football Club
LGBTI Ally (Sport): David Pocock – ARU Wallabies/ACT Brumbies
Inclusive Coach (Sport): Mel Rippon – Brisbane Tritons Water Polo and Damien Hicks – Brisbane Barracudas

Pride Inclusion Programs, which incorporates Pride in Diversity and Pride in Sport, are programs of ACON. For more information, for details.

Image: ANZ GAYTMs have become a feature during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras