For the second year in a row, Melbourne-based RMIT University has been named Australia’s Employer Of The Year For LGBTQI Inclusion.

The preliminary winners of top honours at the 2020 Australian LGBTQI Inclusion Awards were announced last week. Multinational law firm Dentons was declared as the Small Employer Of The Year, while Advance Diversity Services was the Service Provider Of The Year. The top tier in inclusion was achieved by Commonwealth Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the University Of Western Australia.

The 2020 edition of the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards presented by ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs will be held on October 19, 2020 in Sydney and will be hosted by SBS World News presenter Ricardo Gonçalves. The awards are based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) and Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI).

“This year marks an important milestone for the AWEI, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Over the past decade, we have seen incredible advancements in workplace diversity and inclusion. As we progress further, it remains critical that not only efforts are acknowledged and congratulated, but pressure continues to be applied to maintain and build upon what has been achieved,” Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said in a press statement.

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RMIT emerged at the top of the list riding on years of work done to make its campuses safe places for its LGBTQI staff and students. It was the third year in a row the University was named as a Gold Employer and the the finalist in the Trans/ Gender Diverse and Employee Network Of The Year categories.

“At RMIT we uphold every person’s right to feel safe, supported and free to be themselves,” said Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean. “We also know that when we bring together many minds, perspectives and lived experiences, we transform lives and shape the world. Our value of inclusion is steadfast and it’s wonderful to see a new tradition emerging as we come together on digital channels to celebrate and honour our diversity. Although we can’t share physical spaces with the ease we once did, I’m incredibly proud to see the RMIT spirit continuing to thrive.”

RMIT makes its campuses inclusive by:

  • Actively supporting LGBTQI staff and students.
  • The university launched its Diverse Genders, Sexes and Sexualities Action Plan in 2016.
    • The implementation of the action plan is monitored by a working party comprising students and staff.
  • The RMIT University Student Union has a queer department RUSU Queer that runs a drop in centre and has queer lounges across its campuses.
  • Provides mentoring opportunities for DGSS professionals.
  • The university has published a Gender Transition Guide and has special leave for staff who are transitioning.
  • RMIT sport took a pledge of pride against homophobia in sport and all of the university’s sporting events celebrate diversity.
  • The varsity submitted its first ever Pride In Sport Index to assess inclusion of LGBTQI sports persons.
  • Launched its Trans Ally guide in 2020 and a new online resource for RMIT staff to learn about how to be inclusive.
    • RMIT Ally network has over 300 members.
  • RMIT participates in Midsumma Pride March, celebrates International Pride Week and International Trans Day Of Visibility.

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 In February 2020, RMIT was awarded the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer Of Choice For Gender Equality.

The Award Winners On the Australian Workplace Equality Index

Employer Of The year

  • RMIT University

Most Improved

  • John Holland

Platinum Employers

  • Commonwealth Bank
  • PwC
  • UWA

Small Employer Of The Year

  • Dentons

Health + Wellbeing Index

Service Provider of the Year

  • Advance Diversity Services

For the complete list, click here

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