In 2016, Scentre Group formed an LGBTI working group and a support network as part of our broader Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy. We released our action plan and called for allies to champion an inclusive environment. We’ve been working hard to ensure everyone feels safe to bring their whole selves to work.
In 2019, we were awarded Bronze status at the 2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Awards, alongside only 39 other Australian employers. The award recognises our business as active employers in LGBTI inclusion, putting us alongside organisations, such as PWC, KPMG and HSBC.
The AWEI is the definitive national benchmark on LGBTI workplace inclusion. To achieve an AWEI award, an organisation must make an annual submission, showcasing the work done to be an LGBTI inclusive workplace. It invites all team members to complete the AWEI Survey, which identifies the impact of initiatives on organisational culture.
For many organisations, it can take several years to achieve bronze recognition. This year’s submission was Scentre Group’s second, and the first to cover a full financial year, highlighting how much has been achieved in a short timeframe.
Scentre Group’s LGBTI Working Group is behind this outstanding achievement. The group has invested enormous effort into leading initiatives throughout the year to promote a truly inclusive culture.
Our company policies were reviewed to ensure language is accessible to members of the LGBTI community, we drafted a Transition Framework for transgender employees as a result of an employee choosing to transition early in 2018, expanded training for our Allies, and compiled a full calendar of events for 2018 to cover Mardi Gras, IDAHOBIT Day and Wear it Purple Day.
An example of the trust our people have in the company and its supportive culture, Chris Zerial, our D&I Council Member and LGBTI strategy leader, shared his personal story of coming out at work on myScentre (our intranet) and LinkedIn. In sharing, he wanted to make it easier for others to come out and to help create a more inclusive culture.
Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated LGBTI working group and more than 320 Allies (December 2018), more of our people have come out in the workplace, with 11 per cent of our employees identifying as LGBTI, in line with the Australian population.