WESTPAC Group has been crowned Australia’s most LGBTI-inclusive employer.

The financial company picked up the ‘Employer of the Year’ award at the special event in Sydney. The awards come from ACON’s Pride in Diversity (PID) program, a national not-for-profit employer initiative for the inclusion of LGBTI people in the workplace.

 Banks dominated the top 10, with the Commonwealth Bank coming second, Macquarie Bank equal fourth, and National Australia Bank at seven.

The University of Western Australia was the highest ranking university at equal fourth, Uniting was the highest ranking not-for-profit/charity at sixth, and the Australian Federal Police was the highest ranking public sector employer at nine.

Telstra also made it on the list at 15 despite a marriage flip-flop controversy in April.

The awards are determined by PID’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWE), which measures LGBTI inclusivity.

Patron of Pride in Diversity, Hon Michael Kirby AC said it is easy to think at events like the luncheon that prejudice against LGBTI people has stopped in Australia.

“Full equality has not been achieved in 2016. In fact there have been some notable reverses in the past year which we need to look squarely in the eyes; a clear sign that the struggle for dignity in Australia is far from over,” he said at the event.

Other awards included the LGBTI Employee Network of the Year which went to the Commonwealth Bank’s UNITY program and innovation award for Accenture.

ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs director Dawn Hough said the AWEI has had remarkable growth over the first six years of its life with this year seeing the most significant growth to date.

There has been a 46.6 per cent increase in AWEI participation, 125% increase in first time submissions and a 48 per cent increase in accompanying employee survey responses.

“While there is still a long way to go, Hough said that LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Agenda,” Hough said.

“Pride in Diversity congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion.” Ms Hough added.

The event was emceed by Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, and was attended by over 600 people.


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