There are several external memberships which agencies can explore to support best-practice and performance benchmarking of LGBTIQ+ support and inclusion in the workplace.
Pride in Diversity, a social inclusion initiative of ACON, is a not-for-profit LGBTIQ+ inclusion and awareness supporter and advisor. They host the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) process and are Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion.
Pride in Diversity are specialists in human resources, organisational change and workplace diversity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people by reducing exclusion, invisibility, homophobia and stigma in the workplace.
Pride in Diversity membership offers organisations a range of benefits and can be a good starting point for organisations looking to improve inclusion and diversity in their workplace. Several Queensland Government agencies have membership.
AWEI is the definitive national benchmark on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. The index drives best practice in Australia and sets a comparative benchmark for employers across all sectors.
AWEI helps organisations annually assess progress and impact of their workplace LGBTIQ+ inclusion initiatives and creates public awareness of their LGBTIQ+ commitment.
The AWEI is comprehensive and evidence-based with employers asked a series of specific questions relating to areas that directly impact inclusion, or employee perception of inclusion.
As the index is used for benchmarking purposes, the rigorous submission process provides an accurate gauge about inclusivity efforts within the submitting employer organisation.
What to expect with an AWEI submission
- There are 10 content sections you will be required to complete, with one that stands year on year. Agencies can split up the sections to ease workloads.
- There is an evidence and scoring guideline which is useful to target your efforts. Review the questions and note whether they are foundational, intermediate or advanced. Obviously, those listed as advanced are more difficult to achieve – but these can serve as aspirational targets for your agency.
- A Pride in Diversity relationship manager is available to review your submission prior to application. If your agency is not a Pride in Diversity member there is a fee for the review, which typically takes one-two hours. Bookings are required and it is valuable to plan this well ahead of due date as a review will often identify additional actions that can easily be taken.
- When submitting your documents, these tips can be helpful:
- ensure you have evidence for each question – if there is no evidence the question will not be marked
- ensure your documentation and files have clear labels – if the assessment team can’t find the evidence, they won’t mark it
- make sure evidence is accessible – links to intranets can’t be accessed externally, consider including a screenshot or the document
- if the question is about a policy, ensure that the organisation’s policy is attached
- use short and succinct responses to questions – lengthy responses don’t translate into higher points
- ensure the nominated contact for the submission is aware and can provide the necessary information, for example Senior Executive KPIs.
- before you submit, have your submission proofread and double-check that the provided evidence is easily attributable to the specific question
- ensure the submission is received by the deadline – remembering Pride in Diversity must receive a hardcopy or via file transfer, email submission is not accepted.
- Register for the AWEI mailing list to keep up to date with notifications, tips and reminders.
Pride in Diversity membership offers additional support throughout the process.
The Queensland public sector openly supports our LGBTIQ+ employees and are proud that Queensland Department of Education have been ranked as a Gold Tier Employer by AWEI in 2020. Read more about the department’s dedication to inclusion and their AWEI journey.
Agencies not quite ready to undergo a full AWEI process can use the checklists to understand their performance and aspirational areas to target. They can also use their Working for Queensland employee survey results to understand areas to celebrate and areas for improvement. Each agency HR will have access to the latest dashboards and results.