LGBTI Workplace Inclusion Initiative Launches In Regional Australia

Pride in Diversity will launch its push into regional Australia with a summit in Townville in Queensland on 30-31 August. The two-day event will bring together managers and professionals from the public and private sector, providing the opportunity for LGBTI employers and employees to meet, explore diversity and inclusion initiatives, and learn from each other’s experience in the local workforce.

Pride in Diversity is the leading national employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion. A program of ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTI health organisation, Pride in Diversity are specialists in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people by reducing exclusion, invisibility, homophobia and stigma in the workplace.

“Over the last decade, employers across Australia, have made enormous strides in progressing workplace inclusion initiatives focused on their LGBTI talent,” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said. “This includes those in the private sector as well those in all levels of government and irrespective of organisational size. However, one of the challenges facing organisations is how to ensure that such positive steps are reaching all their employees, irrespective of their distance from head office.

“Pride in Diversity works across a community of 250 member organisations, and supports employers across Australia – including those in regional and rural centres – with all aspects of LGBTI inclusion.”

Pride in Diversity’s 2018 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) survey, which canvassed LGBTI and non-LGBTI employees from around Australia on their organisation’s LGBTI inclusion efforts, highlighted the challenges faced by employee in regional and rural centres.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Metropolitan employees believe LGBTI inclusion initiatives are more important than those further afield (84 per cent vs 78 per cent)
  • Those employees in regional locations are more likely believe that there is no longer need to spend time on LGBTI inclusion, post marriage equality (14 per cent to 9 per cent)
  • Almost 10 per cent of LGB respondents have experienced negative commentary and jokes in their regional workplace, which is double the response from city employees.
  • 12 per cent LGB regional employees have personally experienced bullying in the workplace (as opposed to 6 per cent of city based employees).
  • 39 per cent of regional employees pointed to their direct management as a source of such bullying (compared to 20 per cent in the city).

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said LGBTI employees want and deserve workplaces where they feel included and supported.

“We know fear of abuse or discrimination forces many LGBTI people to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity, which can lead to poor health outcomes,” Hough said. “Pride in Diversity is making a difference in helping employers create more diverse and inclusive workplaces, to ensure all Australians can be themselves at work, regardless of where they are.”

A number of community events are also scheduled including a morning tea with political, sporting and educational leaders. To find out more about the Townsville launch, click here.

To find out more about Pride in Diversity, click here.

 

ENDS

For more information please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: +61 (02) 9206 2044   M: +61 (0)428 477  042


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