Category : AWEI

Uniting is the highest ranking LGBTI service provider

Originally published by Uniting, 27 May 2019


Uniting continues to build on its recognition of commitment to inclusivity and celebration of the LGBTI community. Uniting won the inaugural service provider of the year in the Health and Wellbeing Equity Index (HWEI) and retained gold employer status at the 2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) awards.

The annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) awards are a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking tool that assesses workplaces in the progress and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

The HWEI award which featured for the first time this year, recognises organisations for their LGBTI inclusive service delivery in the Health and Wellbeing industry while the gold employer award is an acknowledgement of exemplary achievement in workplace LGBTI inclusion. Uniting was recognised for its effort in these spaces across the ageing, disability, homelessness, early learning and family services sectors.

“Both these awards are an acknowledgment once again for our work in maintaining and strengthening our commitment to LGBTI advocacy and inclusion for our staff and our service users,” said Uniting Director Customer, People and Systems, Jill Reich.

“Being an inclusive workplace and service provider is beneficial for everybody; it enriches and energises our community and is reflective of the wider society we live in. We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of LGBTI inclusion for not only our staff but also for those people that we serve,” said Jill Reich.

Participation in the AWEI index has seen continued growth for the 8th year in a row, since its launch in 2010 with a 14.7 percent increase by organisations in 2019.

“The nature and focus of LGBTI inclusion is constantly evolving and Uniting strives to expand the scope of our ongoing efforts in creating a more diverse and productive workplace so that all our staff, volunteers and clients in our services feel included and supported,” said Jill Reich.

In addition to being the only faith based organisation to win the AWEI and HWEI awards, Uniting was also the first faith-based organisation in Australia to be recognised as LGBTI friendly and received the Rainbow Tick accreditation in 2015 for aged care and corporate services. In 2018 Uniting was also re-accredited for ageing corporate War Memorial and Local Area Coordination services.

Microsoft celebrates Pride, takes action for equity and visibility

 |   Chris Capossela – Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer


Fifty years ago, on June 28, LGBTQI+ patrons and allies at New York City’s Stonewall Inn stood up for justice demanding an equal life free of persecution. This year, as more than 4,000 Microsoft employees march in Pride parades in more than 60 cities and 30 countries around the world, we invite you to join us in pushing inclusion forward.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, we’re taking action for equity by donating to LGBTQI+ nonprofits. Plus, we’re releasing limited-edition products designed with and by the LGBTQI+ community.


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Microsoft has a history of LGBTQI+ inclusion

For us, Pride is an opportunity to reflect on our past and galvanize for action. We started our inclusion journey early in the company’s history, introducing sexual orientation in our non-discrimination policies in 1989. In 1993, we were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex domestic partners. In 2004, we added gender identity to our Equal Employment Opportunity statement and started providing gender affirming healthcare services. Since 2005, Microsoft has attained a top  score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which indicates that Microsoft is establishing and applying policies to protect the LGBTQI+ community.

Our journey is just beginning

Today, Microsoft operates in over 120 countries, most of which still don’t provide legal protections for LGBTQI+ individuals. This year, Microsoft’s Pride campaign is all about the actions that our employees and customers are taking to advance inclusion. GLEAM (Global LGBTQI+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft), our LGBTQI+ resource group, worked with many of our teams to develop products to create visibility into the LGBTQI+ community.

In designing this year’s Pride campaign, LGBTQI+ designers and allies at Microsoft reflected on the LGBTQI+ rights movement of the 1970s. Dozens of LGBTQI+ community members and their allies submitted designs for campaign buttons displaying everything from personal statements to political slogans. These buttons reflect actions that people at Microsoft are taking and are encouraging others to take.

Microsoft is releasing all the button designs as a downloadable archive so everyone can use them, add to them and share their Pride with everyone, wherever they are.

Several Pride-related buttons

For the first time, we’ve also created limited-edition products and curated content to show our continued support for the LGBTQI+ community.

  • Surface – Inspired by the rich and varied tapestry of the LGBTQI+ community, make a more colorful impact with the limited-edition Surface Pro Pride Type Cover and Pride Skin available in the US, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. (only Type Cover).

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  • Windows PrideWindows – This Windows 10 special-edition theme was inspired by the many LGBTQI+ flags. Download the Windows Pride theme pack from the Microsoft Store.
  • Mixer – Discover Pride on Mixer with dedicated streams from select partners, unique stickers, and exclusive programs. Tune in on June 30th to live stream the Seattle Pride Parade!
  • Bing – Learn more about Stonewall on Bing with uniquely curated content featuring LGBTQI+ Bing Prideactivismdating back to 1969 with this quiz. And see Pride take over the Bing homepage in select countries around the world.
  • Office – Show your Pride colors with the exclusive Office theme and unique Pride templates for PowerPoint.
  • Skype – Celebrate Pride with Skype’s new LGBTQI+ flag emoticons, stickers, and more.
  • Xbox – Show your colors and celebrate your love of gaming with the Xbox Pride Sphere Pin available at Pride
  • Microsoft Rewards – Support LGBTQI+ youth in crisis by donating to The Trevor Project in June, and we’ll match it. Not a Microsoft Rewards member? Join today and we’ll give you $1 free to donate.
  • Microsoft Store – Visit your local Microsoft Store to take part in a Pride celebration, march with us, or learn more at educational workshops, events, and other activities.

Actions speak louder than words!

We’re donating $100,000 to the following nonprofits in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States to celebrate and support their work on LGBTQI+ equity:

  • Established in 1985, ACON is Australia’s largest health promotion organization specializing in HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTQ health.
  • Egale works to improve the lives of LGBTQI2S people in Canada and to enhance the global response to LGBTQI2S issues. They do this by informing public policy, inspiring cultural change, and promoting human rights and inclusion.
  • Mermaids is the only U.K.-wide charity working to support transgender or gender non-conforming children, young people, and their families. Their goal is to create a world where gender-diverse children and young people can be themselves and thrive. Mermaids promotes education and awareness, and offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences to those in need.
  •  The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people under 25.

We’re also happy to announce that LGBTQI+ nonprofit, Destination Tomorrow, was awarded a grant from the Microsoft Store to support their inclusion efforts for people of color. See what happened when we took action to help them thrive.

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We invite everyone to join us in taking action for equality. Microsoft Pride 2019 products launch today! Follow along with our stories all month and learn more about actions you can take for equality by joining the social conversation using #MicrosoftPride.

Putting the ‘T’ into LGBTI workplace inclusion

In a post-marriage equality world, there is a high risk that active support for LGBTI workplace inclusion initiatives will decline, writes Dentons’ Ben Allen and Emily Hall.

This much was made obvious in the Australian Workplace Equality Index’s 2018 Employee Survey Analysis, which found that 27 per cent of non-LGBTI respondents thought inclusion was no longer an issue after marriage equality. In contrast, only 9 per cent of LGBTI respondents felt the same. This trend seems to be matched by the survey’s other finding that in 2018, 82 per cent of non-LGBTI respondents identified that workplace inclusion was important, a drop from 92 per cent in 2017.

This thinking reveals an all too common trend in LGBTI workplace inclusion, being a focus predominantly – or exclusively – on the first three letters of the acronym and forgetting the rest

AWEI’s 2018 survey revealed some alarming figures about transgender and gender diverse inclusion in the workplace. Fewer than 66 per cent gender diverse respondents stated they felt fully supported at work, which was considerably lower than the response from lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents. Further, 14 per cent of gender diverse respondents stated they did not feel supported at work.

It’s unsurprising that transgender and gender diverse employees feel less supported at work than their lesbian, gay and bisexual peers, given that the survey results showed that gender diverse respondents were more than twice as likely to witness negative attitudes or commentary in the workplace. This is in addition to gender diverse employees experiencing a higher rate of bullying or harassment in the workplace than their lesbian, gay or bisexual peers.

Plus, more than half of gender diverse respondents did not believe that LGBTI workplace inclusion initiatives benefited them.

Of course, what happens in the workplace is intrinsically related to what happens at home. Making sure workplaces are safe and supportive environments is crucial given transgender individuals are three times more likely to experience ill mental health, and nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide, than the general population.

In light of these statistics, it is clear that while we may have made some progress on supporting same-sex attracted employees in the workplace, there is still a long way for us to go on the rainbow.

To be part of the positive change required, businesses need to make a concentrated effort to expand the scope of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

So what can businesses do to be more inclusive of their transgender and gender diverse employees?

  • Have policies specifically for transgender employees. This will provide security around the process of transitioning at work, and reinforce the message that complaints about bullying and harassment will be taken seriously.
  • Make sure that your support for transgender and gender diverse employees is publicly known. Having a clearly available public statement regarding transgender and gender diverse individuals will help ease the moderate to very high anxiety that over a quarter of transgender and gender diverse respondents reported experiencing during recruitment processes in the AWEI 2018 survey.
  • Provide adequate support services for transgender employees. This could include freely available counselling, and dedicated training or mentorship programs. Not only is this positive for inclusion, but it will also boost staff retention.
  • Provide targeted training for all employees. Raising awareness and understanding among non-LGBTI employees is crucial to reducing the rates of bullying, harassment and negative commentary currently occurring in the workplace. Ask for help! There are a number of community organisations that can provide specialist assistance when it comes to transgender and gender diverse workplace inclusion, including Pride in Diversity.

The time is now for us to make it to the other side of the rainbow.


Ben Allen is a partner at Dentons, and Emily Hall is a graduate lawyer.


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More than one in ten LGB workers in Regional Australia bullied in the workplace: Study

The survey also found that 13 per cent of gender diverse employees experienced ‘very high’ or ‘high’ levels of anxiety when applying for jobs.

Almost ten per cent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers in regional Australia have reported experiencing casual homophobia in the workplace, and almost 12 per cent have been bullied, according to a new study.

The 2018 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Employee Survey was conducted by Pride in Diversity, ACON’s not-for-profit support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

This year, more than 23,000 surveys were completed by employees working at 89 different organisations. Of the respondents, 3,709 identified as LGBTI.

“LGBTI employees want diverse workplaces where they feel included and supported – it isn’t only a moral imperative, it’s also just good business,” Chief Executive of ACON, Nicolas Parkhill, said.

“Fear of abuse or discrimination forces many LGBTI people to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity when they access health and well being services, in many cases leading to an increase in anxiety or depression.

“The work Pride in Diversity does in helping businesses as well as employees create more diverse and productive workplaces, is making real and substantial cultural change within Australian workplaces.”

The survey found that one in ten non-LGBTI employees believed LGBTI inclusion at work was no longer necessary following marriage equality, with only 73 per cent agreeing that it was.

Comparatively, a major 91 per cent of LGBTI respondents indicated that there was still much to be done in supporting inclusion and diversity at work.

More than 13 per cent of gender diverse employees said they experienced ‘very high’ or ‘high’ levels of anxiety during the recruitment process.

And while 60 per cent of gay men felt that inclusion initiatives had a positive impact on how they felt about their sexual identity, only 52 per cent of lesbians felt the same way.

“Even with some recent successes in achieving LGBTI rights, there is still a tremendous amount of work to do,” Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, Dawn Hough, said.

“It is important that in all aspects of Australian working life we have businesses comprising of leaders, advocates, and allies who know the importance of LGBTI inclusion.”

The full results of the 2018 AWEI Employee Survey can be found here.

Related story: ‘Only 32 per cent of LGBTI people are out to everyone at work: study’

Star Observer, 24 August 2018


LAST month at Pride in Diversity, we celebrated 100 members and in the short time since, our membership continues to grow.

While we recognise that there is still much more to do, we celebrate the fact that employers are now seeing LGBTI inclusion as an integral part of their diversity and inclusion strategies. How different things were when Pride in Diversity started not quite six years ago.

This is an exciting time for job seekers who put high on their employer wish list an inclusive culture, one that recognises the incredible contribution that diversity brings to the business, to the lives of individuals and to the richness of its workplace.
I have been in the workforce for 35 years, I have been with my same-sex partner for 32 of those years. However, I have only been “out” for eight.

I spent far too many years of my working life editing conversations, changing personal pronouns, living in fear of being “found out”, avoiding social or networking situations and literally being on guard 24/7. I have listened to family, friends and colleagues talk about gay people with distaste, have fun at their expense and make disparaging remarks — all while smiling, trying to keep an emotionless face and (shamefully) sometimes joining in on some of those conversations in an effort to put people off track.

When you spend that much time hiding who you are for fear of what people will think, your self esteem and sense of self worth plummets. You are overly aware of what you cannot say, what you cannot do, what you must pretend to be, just to do your job. That’s not good for you and it’s certainly not good for an employer.

Many would argue that in this day and age programs like Pride in Diversity are no longer necessary. That people no longer need to be in the closet at work. It is very difficult to understand the complexity of coming out if you have never experienced societal, family and workplace stigma based on “what you are” and/or “who you are”. Some LGBTI people have been incredibly fortunate in that they too, have little experience of this. But for those who do, being out at work is a difficult decision to make and one that requires an assessment of just how safe it is to be who you really are, not in one context, but in multiple. Not with just one team, but with all teams. Not with just one person, but with all people.

And let’s face it, unless you personally know people who work for an organisation that they would highly recommend as being inclusive, you’re taking a bit of a gamble when it comes to choosing your next employer. This is why we publish the Australian National LGBTI Recruitment Guide (ANRG) and why we publish our members on our website.

This ANRG showcases employers that Pride in Diversity are currently working with in regard to their LGBTI inclusion initiatives and it highlights some of their work in this area. While the majority of our members would openly admit there is still more work to be done, at least you know that organisations profiled here are endeavouring to create a safe and inclusive workplace for all of their employees and that there are targeted initiatives in place to ensure LGBTI employees can be themselves at work.

The overwhelming majority of these employers have established LGBTI employee and ally networks providing you with an immediate point of contact should you so choose. The majority of these networks are highly visible and active within the organisation speaking directly to organisational values and the strength that diversity brings.

When you are being interviewed for your next role, ask if the employer is a member, or if they have an LGBTI employee network. If you want to be a little more discreet, enquire as to the areas of diversity that they focus on or what employee networks they have in place.

Don’t waste your years pretending to be someone you’re not. There are some great organisations out there where you can be yourself. We are actively working with many of them.

Dawn Hough is the Director of Pride in Diversity.

If you would like a free copy of the ANRG download it directly here.



Pride in Diversity is Australia’s national not-for-profit employer support program established by ACON in 2009 to assist employers with all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion.

Pride in Diversity is also the developer of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) resulting in the annual top 20 employers for LGBTI employees and workplace inclusion awards, and the producers of the Australian National LGBTI Recruitment Guide (ANRG).

What ‘pride’ means for corporate Australia

By David Brine, Co-chair – Commonwealth Bank’s LGBTIQ ‘Unity’ network

It goes without saying in this world of corporate management speak, that most of us come to work every day looking to be blue-sky thinkers and to leverage every opportunity before we sync up, take it offline and touch base while we circle back on our ideas to grab some low-hanging fruit or quick wins.

Any of that sound familiar? When it’s written all together it can be pretty jarring, right?

What’s encouraging though is that that sort of Orwellian sleight-of-hand is becoming less and less common when organisations talk about diversity and inclusion. Our people are asking simple but right questions of our leaders – “What are we doing?”, “Why aren’t we doing more?”, “How are you going to make me feel welcome?”

Case in point – nearly 700 top-tier businesses have taken up the cause of marriage equality. They’re doing tangible things that can be seen by putting pen to paper, all in the name of offering their people evidence that they aren’t just paying lip service to the idea with hollow words. They’re bringing a touch of reality to the conversation about diversity and inclusion that has, in the past, been too full of hot air or false hope.

Just last month there was another encouraging sign from corporate Australia for supporting the LGBTIQ community with Wear it Purple Day. In my own backyard at Commonwealth Bank Place, we had more than 300 of our people travel from all over Sydney to come together to take what we think is an ASX company’s biggest selfie. Looking at that photo, there are Executive Committee members, heads of divisions, branch managers – allies, former sceptics and long-term diversity diehards all bundled into one frame. I can be seen wearing ridiculous round glasses near the front.
cba 2

For a lot of us involved in that selfie, it partially represents the culmination of more than two years of work to shift diversity and inclusion at the Commonwealth Bank from just a conversation to action. As any of you working in large organisations can appreciate, at times it can feel like you are turning the Titanic, but when you get there the results are very much worth the effort.

Across the Group all over the world, the 1800 members of our LGBTIQ Unity staff network have been involved in more than 120 diversity awareness training sessions and introduced our people to dozens of new employee policies and guides like Transitioning in the Workplace, How to be a great ally and Coming out. By building on that work within the Commonwealth Bank, it’s meant we’ve been able to support the broader community through things like our scholarship program with The Pinnacle Foundation, being a principal partner for the Bingham Cup, supporting anti-homophobia in sport and providing staffing resources and expertise to bring the event to life and of course, supporting events like the recent Wear it Purple raising funds for The Pinnacle Foundation.

To all of you working in Australia reading this, who like me, have heard colleagues offering empty words and placation in the name of diversity and inclusion, have a look at the photo at the end of this piece.

You will see that by focusing on actions that people can measure and see, we can build pride in our diversity for an inclusive Australian society.
Microsoft PowerPoint - WIP-collage [Read-Only]

Here’s Australia’s 20 most LGBTI-friendly employers

An awards luncheon today has announced Australia’s top 20 proudest local companies for their efforts with workplace support for LGBTI people.

The event was hosted by Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national employer support program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

PwC Australia was given the top honour – named Australia’s Employer of the Year 2015.

Read the full article here. 


PricewaterhouseCoopers has been named Australia’s top employer for LGBTI people for 2015.

The Australian arm of the global professional services firm topped a list of 20 organisations which were recognised today at a special luncheon in Sydney organised by Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national employer support program for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

Read the full article here.

Australia and Hong Kong set to announce Top Employers: LGBTI Inclusion

I had the absolute pleasure of spending several days in Hong Kong with Community Business last week, Hong Kong’s leading diversity advisors and advocates for LGBT workplace inclusion.

Community business, with the recent launch of their inaugural LGBT workplace inclusion index have been running a campaign called #time4changeHK . After spending two days looking at the comprehensive work being undertaken by organisations in Hong Kong and the calibre of network groups and leaders, we can only conclude that things are changing at a phenomenal pace. Global organisations are clearly committed to regional initiatives and local organisations are breaking ground in the work that they are currently doing.

Pride in Diversity was delighted to receive an invitation to assist with the judging of Hong Kong’s first award submissions. This trip, made possible through the sponsorship of Goldman Sachs Hong Kong, gave the two organisations time to discuss not only the progress of LGBTI inclusion more fully but next steps, collectively and regionally.

Community Business and Pride in Diversity have long enjoyed a sharing relationship. Community Business spoke at the Pride in Diversity annual conference (Pride in Practice) last December and have provided advice in regard to LGBT workplace inclusion across Asia. Pride in Diversity have provided insight into the workings of the Australian Index and advice on the development of the Hong Kong Index; in addition to sitting on the judging panel for these first awards. The two days in Hong Kong allowed the two organisations to further cement that relationship and discuss the coverage of LGBTI inclusion initiatives across Australia, Hong Kong and Asia more broadly.

Both the Hong Kong LGBT workplace inclusion index and the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) provide a rigorous assessment of an organisation’s initiatives and diversity strategy in addition to setting the foundation for an annual national benchmark. Each instrument sets and drives practice for their respective regions providing not only invaluable feedback to employers (regardless of where they are on the LGBTI inclusion journey) but in some cases sector and industry benchmarks. This external measure of progress and invaluable insight into national initiatives as a result, provides each organisation with the ability to progress LGBTI inclusion initiatives nationally and collectively within the region.

With both indices for 2015 recently closing, the rigorous task of marking and assessment is still underway. Both organisations have planned an Awards Luncheon and announcement of Top Employers for Friday May 15, in recognition of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17). With the Australian Awards Luncheon kicking off a couple of hours before the Hong Kong Luncheon, participating organisations across the region will be able to hear of their results across both indices on the same day. A joint statement by Pride in Diversity and Community Business will be issued shortly after.

For more information on Pride in Diversity, the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) or the Australian Employer Awards Luncheon, please contact Steph Mellor on (02) 9206.2139 or visit

For more information on Community Business, the Hong Kong LGBT Inclusion Index or the Hong Kong Awards Luncheon, please refer to the website or contact Ivy Wong (Ph: HK 2152-1889 or email

Dawn Hough is the Director of Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI Workplace Inclusion. Pride in Diversity are also the developers of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), Australia’s definitive national benchmarking for LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

Impossible to Measure LGBTI Workplace Inclusion? No!

2015 marks the 5th year of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), Australia’s definitive national benchmark on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) workplace inclusion. The AWEI also comprises the largest and only national employee survey of its kind designed to gauge the overall impact of inclusion initiatives on organisational culture as well as LGBTI identifying and non-identifying employees. The AWEI drives best practice in Australia and participation has gown annually from its introduction. Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only national body supporting Australian workplaces (and their Asia Pacific offices) with LGBTI inclusion work, is the publisher of the AWEI. Clients of Pride in Diversity include those across many sectors and industries such as banking & finance, professional services, oil, gas, & mining, not-for-profit, tertiary institutions and federal, state & local government. For a full list of Pride in Diversity members, click here.

The AWEI measures LGBTI inclusion activities across a number of diversity practice areas such as policy, awareness & visibility, training, and supplier diversity. It allows an organisation to benchmark themselves against other similar employers, and gain valuable internal data on their inclusion work. Year-on-year participation in the AWEI gives employers great insight into their ongoing performance in this space, creating a culture of continuous improvement and providing them with up to date data each year for inclusion in organisational reporting, strategy and many programs.

“This is the third year the Westpac Group has participated in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). We find it is a great tool to use to not only benchmark us against our peers, but also assist us in driving our LGBTI initiatives internally. We have made great progress over the past two years which we are very proud of, and the Index helps us push forward as there is still much more to do. It is benchmarks like the AWEI that keep organisations accountable and ensure that diversity and inclusion continues to progress”Brad Cooper, GLOBAL Executive Sponsor, The Westpac Group.

Participation in the optional AWEI Employee Survey is beneficial to organisations as it provides previously hard-to-obtain, objective data that comments directly on the ‘lived experience’ of LGBTI employees in an organisation. It essentially measures the impact of an organisation’s LGBTI inclusion work. As many HR, OD and Diversity professionals know, measuring the ROI of programs designed to make an impact on the culture of an organisation can be difficult, if not impossible to obtain. The survey is managed externally to all organisations and the data held confidentially by the Pride in Diversity team. No identifying data is collected, and demographic data only reported once combined with at least 10 other responses of demographically identical respondents, ensuring anonymity. Many organisations often utilise the feedback provided from the Employee Survey to inform the next year’s LGBTI Inclusion Strategy, or to address ‘hot spots’. Organisations that participate year-on-year in the AWEI process, and are active in their inclusion work the year following will likely see continued improvement in their AWEI performance. For those organisations who feature in the Top 20 Employers for LGBTI Employees (Gold and Silver Tier) there is a significantly more positive employee experience compared to organisations outside of the Top 20.

“Our aim is to create a workplace where everyone feels welcome and able to bring their whole self to work. Achieving a Top 20 ranking in the Pride in Diversity 2014 AWEI has provided external recognition for the work that we are so passionately committed to, as well as a platform to benchmark our practices against leading organisations. The support and guidance we have received from Pride in Diversity has been crucial to our success. The collaborative nature of our partnership has enabled us to work together to raise awareness of the importance of workplace inclusion and to develop initiatives that further support employees who identify as LGBTI and their allies. Ultimately this has enabled us to create a workplace culture that is inclusive of all employees” – Catherine Owen, OD Consultant – Diversity, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Participation in the AWEI is open to all employers in Australia, regardless of membership status with Pride in Diversity. Organisations across all industries and sectors take part and participation is at no cost to the organisation. Organisations at all stages of their LGBTI inclusion journey find it valuable to participate in the AWEI. For those organisations that are just starting to work on this space, it provides valuable knowledge of where your organisation has inclusive practice, and where there is an opportunity to make changes or improvement. Members of Pride in Diversity can request a comprehensive debrief workshop with a PID Relationship Manager, which provides additional guidance and analysis. While the AWEI Employer of the Year and associated awards are publically communicated, participation in the AWEI can be completely confidential. This allows organisations to treat the process as an internal benchmarking process only. Pride in Diversity are available to satisfy any confidentiality agreement in relation to an organisation taking part confidentially.

We are proud to be a PiD foundation member and an AWEI participant since its inauguration. The AWEI inspires us to improve as an organization and is a driver of LGBTI inclusion across Australia. We are also grateful for our PiD network and the sharing of best practices that has helped us to learn and grow. Having our efforts acknowledged with the 2014 AWEI Employer of the Year award was a tribute to the hard work of senior leadership, GLAM (Gays, Lesbians and Mates) Network and Human Capital Management team” – Michelle Nyberg, Executive Director and GLAM Chair, Goldman Sachs.

The LGBTI Employer of the Year, along with Gold, Silver, Bronze and Participating organisations will be honoured at the Annual AWEI Awards Luncheon in Sydney on 15 May, at The Westin. Additional awards include Diversity Champion, CEO of the Year and Regional Award. For more information, and to download the submission document, including a dedicated completion guide, please click here.

If you’d like to talk in more detail, or have any questions about Pride in Diversity, or the Australian Workplace Equality Index, please don’t hesitate to contact me via LinkedIn or on 02 9206 2138 or +61 429 494 547.


Ross Wetherbee is Workplace Education & Relationship Manager at Pride in Diversity. In his role he oversees his portfolio of member organisations in the public sector and the following industry groups: Local, State and Federal Government departments, Tertiary Education institutions, Healthcare, Mining Resources and Energy, Oil & Gas, FMCG, Sporting Organisations and Not-for-profit & Community Groups. He facilitates member roundtables, training and awareness sessions, and works with member organisations in an ongoing capacity to provide best-practice advice and assist in all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion. Prior to joining Pride in Diversity, Ross lead Macquarie Bank’s LGBTI Employee Network in addition to his role as a Global Talent Consultant.