Working with Pride
An increasing number of big businesses are embracing their LGBT employees with diverse policies and relevant programs, as highlighted by the annual Pride In Diversity Awards. Serkan Ozturk reports.
The Pride In Diversity Awards recognising Australia’s best workplaces for LGBT employees will be held for the second time in Sydney on Thursday, May 17. Last year’s inaugural event saw IBM take the honours with the Australian Federal Police in second. KPMG, Goldman Sachs, Telstra, Accenture, Macquarie University, PwC, University of Queensland, University of Western Australia and Curtin University also featured in the Top Ten.
Pride in Diversity Program director, Dawn Hough, tells SX with more companies joining the initiative this year’s awards will be all that more difficult to judge.
“They need to provide evidence of LGBT inclusion within their cultural initiatives, details of any diversity/awareness training conducted and where possible, evidence of community engagement and support,” she said.
“Of course not all participating organisations will be active in all of these areas, but what the index does is provide a means by which an organisation can measure, compare and constantly improve their overall equity and inclusion.”
AUSTRALIA’S TOP EMPLOYERS FOR LGBT PEOPLE IN 2011
Here are Australia’s top five employers of LGBT people in 2011, as determined by Pride In Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index, a free service provided annually by Pride In Diversity that evaluates and benchmarks LGBT inclusiveness in Australian workplaces.
What they do: Global technology company IBM was recognised in 2011 at the inaugural Pride In Diversity Awards as the country’s leading employer for LGBT people. IBM clearly articulates the inclusion of LGBT employees in staff policies and benefits, offers comprehensive training in diversity and has a strong and effective LGBT employee network group. LGBT inclusion is also actively promoted both internally and externally by IBM’s GLBT Executive Sponsor, which has resulted in outcomes such as positive external branding, community engagement and fundraising.
What they say: “For 100 years, we have welcomed anyone with talent, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, age or creed – way ahead of the legislative curve. In 1984, we declared we would not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. And in 2005, we pledged not to use genetic information in employment decisions. As a result, we have a vibrant, loyal and growing LGBT community, whose intelligence, creative brilliance and diversity of thought help to drive our success.” – Andrew Stevens, Managing Director, IBM Australia and New Zealand
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE
What they do: With a workforce of over 6,500, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) maintains an extensive national and international liaison network. At last year’s Awards, the AFP was recognised for having the most comprehensive LGBT diversity training in the public sector as well as its excellent workforce policies and definitions specifically related to LGBT bullying and harassment. The AFP also offers whistleblower networks and wellbeing services so that employees can confidentially seek advice or lodge concerns.
What they say: “The AFP is committed to ensuring its workforce fully represents the community it services and develops a range of policies and networks to promote the value of equality and diversity in the workplace,” Stephen Walker, National Manager Human Resources for the AFP in 2011
What they do: KPMG is one of the world’s leading professional services networks offering audit, tax and advisory services with over 140,000 people in member firms in more than 153 countries. In Australia, KPMG employs about 5,200 people, including over 380 partners, operating out of 13 offices around the country. Diversity is articulated as a key business imperative for KPMG, with the company also having a diversity and inclusion website, KGEN (LGBT Employee Network). Starter kits for new employees contain a KGEN rainbow postcard, while posters emphasising ‘Strength Through Diversity’ are regularly displayed in its main offices.
What they say: “Maintaining and encouraging an inclusive workplace is vital for KPMG to attract and retain the best people and to stand apart as an organisation delivering exception value for its clients. We are committed to making KPMG a leader in diversity by facilitating, embracing and utilising difference.” – KPMG’s Diversity Aspiration message.
What they do: The global investment banking, securities and financial services firm opened its Sydney office in the 1980s. The company, which has its headquarters in New York, employs approximately 650 people in Australia. The company’s GLaM Network (Gays, Lesbians and Mates) has a dedicated budget, holds monthly meetings, plans regular GLaM events and also meets with senior leaders within the firm to offer advice on LGBT-related issues. The company also has a published charter outlining its commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
What they say: “Goldman Sachs is delighted to be ranked amongst the Top 10 Employers 2011. This recognises our commitment to providing a work environment that attracts, retains and motivates LGBT employees. We are particularly proud of our Culture and Diversity Learning curriculum which has a number of LGBT workplace programs embedded, as well as the steps taken by our GLaM (Gay, Lesbians and Mates) network to foster closer relationships with the top tier universities and their respective LGBT networks.” – Stephen Fitzgerald, Co-CEO Goldman Sachs
What they do: The country’s leading telecommunications company, Telstra, was originally formed by the Australian government in the 1970s and now employs more than 39,000 people around the world. The company was recognised at last year’s Awards for eliminating discrimination and encouraging workplace inclusion. Telstra’s CEO David Thodey and his executive team have taken a very public stand against homophobia by appearing on the This is Oz site, while the company is also officially involved in Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival as well as the World AIDS Day Dinner held annually in Sydney since 2010.
What they say: “Being recognised as one of Australia’s leading employers for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people is a source of great pride for our company, because having a culture of inclusion and connecting people is at the heart of who we are at Telstra. I am delighted that Telstra has taken a leadership position in this area.” – David Thodey, Telstra CEO
[Pictured] IMB staff members with IBM’s 2011 Pride in Diversity awards. Photo: Supplied
WHO WILL BE AUSTRALIA'S TOP EMPLOYER FOR LGBTI PEOPLE IN 2012?
This year’s top employers for LGBT people will be announced at the 2012 Pride In Diversity Awards on International Day Against Homophobia – Thursday, May 17 – at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney. Stay tuned for details. For more information, go to www.prideindiversity.com