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IBM Tops List Of Gay-Friendly Aussie Workplaces

17 May 2011

Pride in Diversity Patron Michael Kirby, Program Director Dawn Hough, and Olympic gold-medallist Matthew Mitcham at the Pride in Diversity Business Luncheon and Awards.

IBM has been named our most gay-friendly employer at Australia's first ever awards recognising workplace support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The technology giant topped a list of 11 organisations which were recognised today at a special luncheon in Sydney organised by Pride In Diversity, Australia's first and only employer support program for the inclusion of LGBT people in the workplace.

The awards were determined using Pride In Diversity's Australian Workplace Equality Index, a free service provided annually by Pride In Diversity that evaluates and benchmarks LGBT inclusiveness in Australian workplaces.

IBM received three awards, including Employer of the Year, Highest Ranking Private Sector Employer and LGBT Employee Network Group of the Year. The Australian Federal Police was the Highest Ranking Public Sector Employer and also received a special commendation in the LGBT Employee Network Group category.

The Top Ten Australian employers for LGBT people are (in ranked order), IBM, Australian Federal Police, KPMG, Goldman Sachs, Telstra, Accenture and Macquarie University (equal 6th), PriceWaterhouseCoopers, University of Queensland, and University of Western Australia and Curtin University (equal 10th).

Speakers at the sold-out inaugural awards luncheon at the Sydney Hilton's Glass restaurant included Pride In Diversity patron the Hon. Michael Kirby, Olympic champion and Telstra sporting ambassador Matthew Mitcham and a string of CEO's and top executives from some of Australia's leading public and private sector organisations.

Pride In Diversity is a program developed in partnership by ACON - NSW's and Australia's largest community-based LGBT health organisation - Diversity Council Australia - the independent, not-for-profit diversity advisor to business - and London-based LGB advocacy group Stonewall UK.

Pride In Diversity Director Dawn Hough says the luncheon and awards, which will continue to take place every year on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, provide a valuable new platform for organisations to highlight the quality of their workplace diversity practices.

"Pride In Diversity congratulates all the organisations recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion," Ms Hough says.

"Pride In Diversity is about helping organisations bridge the gap between LGBT employees and management, and today's awards are an important opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the changes happening in our workplaces - and in our society - that make LGBT people feel like they belong.

"I encourage other organisations and workplaces to show their support for LGBT people and participate in next year's awards by making a submission to our Australian Workplace Equality Index program."

Mr Kirby says because most Australians spend a great deal of their lives in some sort of workplace, "it is vital that workplaces are welcoming and supportive places for all employees."

"This is not only good for the employees concerned, it also benefits employers in terms of reputation, recruitment, retention, productivity and market share," Mr Kirby says. "And ultimately, providing support mechanisms for LGBT employees contributes to the ‘fair go' spirit which we value so highly in Australia."



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Contact: Andrew Hamadanian, Media and Communications Officer, ACON

Tel: (02) 9206 2044  
Mobile: 0419 555 768 

Email: ahamadanian@acon.org.au