Category : Media

Intersections at Work: Understanding the Experiences of Culturally Diverse LGBTQ Talent at Work

Media Release | 16 March 2020

Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and Pride in Diversity have today released a joint report into the workplace inclusion experiences of culturally diverse LGBTQ workers.

Based on the findings of a survey of almost 200 culturally diverse LGBTQ workers, the report shows that the combination of cultural background and LGBTQ status or identity had an impact on over three quarters of respondents, with 55% reporting a negative impact.

The research also identified six common themes in how the experience of respondents played out: racism and/or homophobia; not being understood at work by people from the Anglo/white majority; the complexity of multiple and intersecting identities; working in regional or rural areas; working internationally in countries where homosexuality is criminalised; and feeling accepted at work but not at home.

Pride in Diversity and DCA joined forces on this project as their respective research on LGBTQ workplace inclusion had revealed that culturally diverse LGBTQ workers had unique workplace experiences that warranted deeper investigation.

Lisa Annese, CEO, Diversity Council Australia, added:

Our work with people who are culturally diverse and LGBTQ found that for some people, current workplace D&I initiatives aren’t addressing the nuances of their intersectional identities. We wanted to start addressing this gap by sharing the insights of culturally diverse LGBTQ workers about the actions Australian organisations can take to create more inclusive workplaces.

Read more here.

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs said:

In supporting organisations that employ over three million Australians, it has become very clear that those who passionately identify and engage with communities that reflect a culturally and linguistically diverse heritage can face unique challenges when it comes to their LGBTQ identity, being open about who they are and also in their ability to fully experience and/or benefit from the positive impact of inclusion initiatives. These unique challenges have not until now been given a great deal of attention when assessing the overall effectiveness of workplace inclusion.

Key Findings

• 55% of respondents reported that the combination of their cultural background and LGBTQ status negatively affected their workplace experience, for 20% it had a positive impact, while for the remaining 25% it had no impact at all

• Common themes in how that experience played out included:

o Racism and/or homophobia;
o Not being understood at work by people from the Anglo/white majority;
o The complexity of multiple and intersecting identities;
o Working in regional or rural areas;o Working internationally in countries where homosexuality is criminalised; and
o Feeling accepted at work but not at home.

• What is locking culturally diverse LGBTQ workers out of inclusion at work, and how can we unlock this talent?

o Ignoring intersectionality > Intersectional approaches to diversity
o Invisibility > Boost visibility
o Loneliness and isolation > Create connections.

About the research

DCA and Pride in Diversity surveyed 193 culturally diverse LGBTQ workers based in Australia to investigate two research questions:

1. How do the cultural backgrounds of LGBTQ people impact on their experience at work?
2. What evidence-based actions can organisations take to create more workplaces which are more inclusive of LGBTQ workers from culturally diverse backgrounds?

The report also includes key insights from Pride in Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index.


Media contact: Diane Falzon, 0430 596 699, Catherine Petterson, 0419 447 331.

New benchmarking tool to assess LGBTI inclusion amongst health and wellbeing providers launches

A new benchmarking tool launched by leading LGBTI inclusion initiative, Pride Inclusion Programs, now provides health and wellbeing organisations the opportunity to assess, measure and improve their practices to better include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in their services.

The Health + Wellbeing Equality Index is Australia’s first instrument to annually benchmark LGBTI inclusive service provision amongst organisations in the health, human services and wellbeing sectors. The index is administered by Pride in Health + Wellbeing, a national program that provides support, training and guidance in LGBTI inclusive service delivery. Pride in Health + Wellbeing is part of Pride Inclusion Programs, a suite of social inclusion initiatives delivered by Australia’s leading LGBTI health organisation, ACON.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index will be an important resource for health and wellbeing service providers across Australia.

“With significant health disparities between LGBTI and non-LGBTI people and issues many LGBTI people experience in accessing important and critical health services such as perceived or previously experienced stigma, discrimination, harassment or refusal of service, this index is an instrumental tool for service providers as they seek to be more inclusive of all Australians,” Mr Parkhill said.

“We are proud to announce the launch of this index, which builds on ACON’s decades-long experience in LGBTI health and wellbeing. This instrument, in addition to our Pride in Health + Wellbeing support program, will provide a much-needed resource for those seeking to ensure full inclusivity of LGBTI people within the services and programs that they offer and will assist providers in working towards the Rainbow Tick accreditation if that is their ultimate goal,” Mr Parkhill said.

Participation will give service providers clear guidelines on getting started or on progressing their work in LGBTI inclusive service provision, as well as an opportunity to survey both staff and service users regardless of how they identify going forward.

The Health + Wellbeing Equality Index builds on from Pride Inclusion Programs’ benchmarking instruments, the Pride in Sport Index and the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said just as the AWEI has been instrumental in shifting practices in LGBTI inclusion in workplaces across Australia, the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index will be critical in improving health and wellbeing service provision.

“The feedback provided as a result of participation will allow health and wellbeing providers to not only focus their inclusion work in areas of good practice, but also determine annually what they need to do to improve,” Ms Hough said.

“As index participation grows, the benchmarking data will provide a valuable reference in terms of current best practice as well as both qualitative and quantitative data to show improvements in their service provision.”

Participants to the index do not need to be a member of the Pride in Health + Wellbeing support program to take part. Submissions can be made online and close Friday 8 March 5pm.