Westpac: GLOBAL

Westpac Group has been named Employer of the Year at the annual Pride in Diversity event.

The Pride in Diversity (PID) support program, a national not-for-profit focused on all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion, is the first and only program of its kind in Australia. Employers are judged based on PID’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). The national employee survey is designed to gauge the impact that inclusion initiatives have on organisational culture.

The annual results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index provide a framework for participating employers as well as giving them the ability to benchmark against other companies. This is the Westpac Group’s first year winning the award. It has been implementing PID’s index since 2012 with Westpac’s LGBTI group, GLOBAL.

GLOBAL started as a small group located in Westpac’s head office, where group members organised themselves around the AWEI criteria. Taking the first step towards an inclusive business model, GLOBAL focused on setting targets of what they wanted to achieve. The team embraced a charter and mission statement to support these goals.

Now in GLOBAL’s fourth year, Sam Turner of Westpac says, “Year on year we have built on these targets and charter, and embedded LGBTI inclusion within the business.”

GLOBAL has implemented policies that promote LGBTIQ inclusion including sexual orientation and gender identity being covered under the company’s discrimination and harassment policies.

Sam shared with LOTL that Westpac now has “policies for employees and leaders to support those who are transitioning in the workplace as well as support documents for our Intersex employees.”

These significant changes in policy have now spread across the company on a national scale. GLOBAL is a presence in every state.

GLOBAL is run by passionate individuals on top of their day jobs and focuses on many aspects of inclusion. They run inclusive language training sessions, organise monthly social gatherings and hold sponsorships with Feast Festival and Out for Australia’s Women’s program. GLOBAL also works with other organisations’ LGBTI groups to help improve workplace equality.

While GLOBAL knew “the organisation had come a long way in the last 12 months and improved on last year,” the award was still a surprise for the group. “You never know until they actually announce the winner!” said Sam.

Moving forward, Westpac will continue to work with its leaders and employees to make the workplace inclusive of all diversity groups. Sam would love to see Westpac collaborate with more Australian business to “help them achieve greater inclusion in their workplaces.”

In the immediate future, GLOBAL will be organising to support employees and customers through the potential plebiscite. Sam hopes that one day, “we won’t need LGBTI groups such as GLOBAL, as LGBTI inclusion will simply be a given.”