Workplaces and unions around Australia will celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) tomorrow, supporting sexuality and gender diverse workers.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has made IDAHOBIT part of their annual calendar, with events organised on university campuses around the country.
“Despite a tidal wave of support shown to LGBTI communities throughout the Australian marriage equality campaign, we know that there’s much still to do to guarantee equality for our LGBTI colleagues, friends, and families,” said Jeannie Rea, NTEU national president.
Rea said that research by Pride in Diversity showed that almost one in two LGBTI Australians hide their identity at work for fear of being labelled, limiting their career paths, making their co-workers feel uncomfortable or being targeted for mistreatment.
“Discrimination laws that enable publically funded religious schools and religious organisations to fire LGBTI staff because of their sexuality must also be challenged,” she said.
“IDAHOBIT is the opportunity to shine a spotlight on supporting LGBTI workers and their communities.
“Queer Unionists in Tertiary Education (QUTE), NTEU’s network of LGBTI members and their allies, have worked hard to establish IDAHOBIT across our campuses in Australia.”
Various events for IDAHOBIT are happening at university campuses tomorrow.
Other employers around the country are also celebrating IDAHOBIT to show their support for diverse workers.
The federal Department of Human Services is encouraging staff to wear rainbow colours to work tomorrow.
Jen Rufati represents the needs of diverse staff across the department, and promotes greater visibility and awareness of inclusion.
“[IDAHOBIT] is an important day—a day to raise awareness of the discrimination the community still faces globally,” Rufati said.
“We are one of the largest Australian Government agencies, employing more than 35,000 staff across the country, so it’s important that it is a place of work that’s accepting of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.”
Rufati said the department works hard to be an inclusive employer.
“Executive Champions are just one of the many initiatives we employ to promote diversity as part of our Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and LGBTI plan,” she said.
“A suite of resources is available to staff including inclusive language guides, online training and short-term counselling. We also maintain a profile in the Australian National LGBTI Recruitment Guide to promote the department as an employer of choice.”
As well as celebrations in workplaces and on study campuses, public events are happening around Australia tomorrow for IDAHOBIT.