This year’s LGBTQ Employee Network of the Year was snapped up by joint winners JP Morgan and RMIT in Melbourne at the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.
In June, RMIT was named Employer of the Year at the preliminary awards for its work in trans and gender diverse inclusion. Yesterday’s award luncheon, delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, was hosted by SBS World News presenter Ricardo Goncalves at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.
ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs is a LGBTQ inclusion support program for employers, sporting organisations and service providers and has been developing programs to reduce stigma, homophobia and discrimination in the workplace. Other award winners included Alicia Albury, from the law firm Maddocks for Executive Leadership, Ben Brown, from global insurer QBE for Network Leader of the Year and Cathy Gassick from the Australian Federal Police for Out Role Model of the Year.
The awards are evaluated from the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) – an assessment tool which has been running for ten years. The Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI) is relatively newer, this year being only its second year. Both indices are evidence-based measurement tools that evaluate workplaces in their progress and impact of LGBTQ inclusion initiatives on a year by year basis.
The director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, Dawn Hough, expressed her excitement over the results of the indices in a statement.
“This year marks an important milestone for the AWEI, as it celebrates its tenth anniversary,” she said. “Over the past decade, we have seen incredible advancements in workplace diversity and inclusion. As we progress further, it remains critical that not only efforts are acknowledged and congratulated, but pressure continues to be applied to maintain and build upon what has been achieved.”
“The employee survey that accompanied the AWEI elicited an incredible response, which underscores the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace.”
Yesterday’s awards ceremony coincide with the publication of the nation’s largest annual LGBTQ Inclusion Report “The National Benchmark on Australian LGBTQ Workplace Inclusion” which surveys Australian employees’ views on LGBTQ inclusion initiatives within their workplaces.
The latest report is the culmination of over 33,000 employee responses fabd roughly 600 people involved in sport.
“The report shows that LGBTQ people continue to be the target of negative commentary and innuendo as well as more serious bullying and harassment,” Dawn Hough said. “So even as we have taken some big steps forward in improving inclusion within workplaces over the past ten years, these results indicate that there is much more to do and no organisation can afford to become complacent in ensuring all Australians are free to be their true selves at work.”
“In 2020, Pride in Diversity celebrates its tenth year. After a decade, LGBTQ inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda and is making more of a mark in the sporting and service provider sectors every year as well,” Hough said.