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LGBTIQ+ inclusive workplaces

Get support as an LGBTIQ+ employee. Help create an inclusive workplace where LGBTIQ+ employees feel safe, valued and supported to bring their whole selves to work.

Read our LGBTIQ+ inclusion strategy (PDF, 856 KB) to see how the Queensland Government is strengthening LGBTIQ+ inclusion in our workplaces.

Your agency may have a Rainbow Liaison Officer (RLO). RLOs can help with any issues or concerns you might have in the workplace. They can also refer you to additional support.

RLOs are workplace volunteers who champion LGBTIQ+ inclusion. They’ve completed training by appropriate external bodies. However, they’re not counsellors.

Your agency may also have an LGBTIQ+ committee or working group that offers support. See your intranet or speak to you HR team for more.

LGBTIQ+ employee network

Join the Queensland public sector LGBTIQ+ employee network. Connect with LGBTIQ+ employees and allies to share information and foster inclusive and supportive workplaces. Keep informed of upcoming events and initiatives.

Connect with network members through the LGBTIQ+ QG Yammer group. Email the Queensland Government at join.qgyammer@qld.gov.au to join.

The Yammer group is a closed group and new members must be approved by the administrator.

Join your agency’s LGBTIQ+ working group or committee

See our list of agencies with LGBTIQ+ working groups or committees. If your agency isn’t listed here, see your intranet or speak to your HR team.

Join the Queensland public sector LGBTIQ+ steering committee

Support the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ employees within agencies and ensure Queensland Government policies and practices are inclusive.

Visit Queensland Government LGBTIQ+ steering committee to find out more and register your interest.

Join the critical friends network

Help the LGBTIQ+ steering committee lead social change in the Queensland Government. Participate in focus groups, online surveys and questionnaires or comment on issues when they arise. Participation is voluntary.

Email the LGBTIQ+ steering committee at lgbtiq@psc.qld.gov.au.

Review your agency’s Working for Queensland survey results. This may provide some insights into barriers and issues your agency’s LGBTIQ+ employees are facing. Use this information to identify ways to improve inclusiveness in your workplace.

Develop a strategy

Read the Queensland Government’s LGBTIQ+ inclusion strategy (PDF, 856 KB) to understand our overarching framework. For our LGBTIQ+ employees. Consider developing an agency specific strategy (if your agency doesn’t have one).

See Queensland Health’s Workforce diversity and inclusion strategy as an example of what your agency’s LGBTIQ+ inclusion strategy could look like.

Identify an executive champion or sponsor

Your executive champion or sponsor could be your chief human resource officer or someone similar. They can drive change for a more inclusive workplace by:

  • gathering support for policy change
  • leading or introducing discussions, training, or awareness sessions
  • promoting events including days of significance
  • supporting the allocation of resources to implement work
  • communicating to the organisation through email, newsletters, on your agency intranet, in fact sheets or other communication channels.

Establish an agency LGBTIQ+ steering committee

Develop a business case and terms of reference for the establishment of an agency LGBTIQ+ steering committee. See Queensland Government LGBTIQ+ steering committee as an example, including their terms of reference.

Your steering committee can provide input and advice about specific issues, including identifying priorities and potential risks. Committee members can advocate on behalf of those they represent and foster positive communication outside the committee about progress and activities.

Develop an action plan

Using your LGBTIQ+ inclusion strategy and working with your LGBTIQ+ steering committee, create an action plan.

Decide what you want to achieve and address, what your employees want in the workplace, what you need to do to achieve this, how long it will take to deliver it, and who needs to approve the work.

Review your agency’s strategic plan and any applicable workforce strategies. Make sure your action plan aligns. If you can’t find any information on inclusion or diversity, use the LGBTIQ+ inclusion and diversity strategy (PDF, 856 KB) for help.

Your actions might include:

  • establishing an LGBTIQ+ ally network
  • conducting an awareness campaign through training, communication (newsletters, executive messages, lunchbox sessions) and celebration (see the LGBTIQ+ communication toolkit for help)
  • reviewing policies and procedures to address issues of accessibility, inclusion, responsiveness and respect.

Get your action plan approved

Speak to your HR team and find out what you need to do to get your action plan approved.

You’ll need to get endorsement from your LGBTIQ+ steering committee and executive champion or sponsor.

Support your agency’s LGBTIQ+ community and LGBTIQ+ strategy and action plan.

Establish an LGBTIQ network

Bring together employees who are interested in LGBTIQ+ inclusion and making a difference in the workplace. Consider who can be a member, how employees can join and how do they opt out, who is responsible for coordination and how often will they meet. Once you know this, seek approval through your executive champion or sponsor.

Establish a Rainbow Liaison Officer program

If your agency doesn’t have an RLO program, consider establishing one. RLOs can offer support for employees in the workplace.

Email the Public Service Commission LGBTIQ+ steering committee at lgbtiq@psc.qld.gov.au for help setting up your program.

Establish an LGBTIQ+ ally network

Get your allies to show visible support for the LGBTIQ+ community and LGBTIQ+ strategy and action plan. Encourage them to wear rainbow lanyards, or buttons or specific colours on days of significance (e.g. Wear it Purple Day). See the LGBTIQ+ communication toolkit for help.

Invite your allies to your LGBTIQ+ network meetings. Get them to share their stories and promote the work being done to support LGBTIQ+ employees.

Get your allies to promote your work through their communication channels (e.g. executive message, intranet profile and blog, e-newsletters).

Encourage your allies to consider learning and development options (e.g. Pride in Diversity trainer program).

Consider a Pride in Diversity membership

A Pride in Diversity membership gives your agency access to support, resources, networking opportunities, training, consulting and advice about LGBTIQ+ inclusion

Pride in Diversity are a not-for-profit LGBTIQ+ inclusion and awareness supporter and advisor. They host the Australian Workplace Equality Index process and are Australia's first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.

Complete the Australian Workplace Equality Index

Complete Pride and Diversity’s annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) to assess your agency’s progress and impact on workplace LGBTIQ+ initiatives. The index drives best practice in Australia and sets a comparative benchmark for employers across all sectors.

Because the index is used for benchmarking purposes, the submission process is rigorous. You need to complete 10 content sections. Consider splitting them up between a few of you. Read the evidence and scoring guideline to help target your efforts.

Ask your Pride in Diversity relationship manager to review your submission. If your agency is not a Pride in Diversity member you will need to pay a fee for the review. The review typically takes 1–2 hours. Book your review early as it often identifies additional actions you need to complete.

When you complete the AWEI submission, ensure you:

  • provide evidence for each question. If there is no evidence the assessment team will not mark the question.
  • make your evidence accessible. Links to intranets can't be accessed externally. Include a screenshot or a document.
  • label your documents and files. If the assessment team can't find the evidence, they will not mark it.
  • attach your agency’s policy (if the question is about your policy
  • use short and succinct responses to questions. Lengthy responses don't translate into higher points.
  • make your nominated contact for the submission aware and can provide the necessary information, for example senior executive KPIs.
  • proofread your submission and double-check that your evidence is easily attributable to the appropriate question.
  • provide a hardcopy or file transfer submission before the due date. Pride in Diversity do not accept email submissions.

Register for the AWEI mailing list to receive notifications, tips and reminders.