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Woolworths recognised for LGBTI inclusion efforts

Supermarket giant Woolworths Group has been recognised for the second year running as a top employer in Australia for LGBTI inclusion.

Woolworths was the only retailer to receive gold-tier status at the 2019 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards based on the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). Now in its ninth year, AWEI is a benchmark used to measure LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.

The event recognises Australia’s top organisations for LGBTI inclusion and celebrates leaders, individuals and networks that have made a significant impact within their workplaces.

“We are delighted to be recognised as a gold tier workplace by AWEI for a second year in a row and extremely proud of the work we have undertaken to progress LGBTI inclusion in the workplace and the efforts of our teams across the Group,” said Rachel Mead, Woolworths Group head of diversity and inclusion.

Mead said creating an inclusive culture is a huge priority for Woolworths, adding that while they still have more work to do, they are fully committed to continuing to create better experiences for their LGBTI team members.

“We want all our team members to feel free to bring their whole selves to work.”

Some recent initiatives Woolworths has undertaken to progress LGBTI inclusion in the workplace include:

  • Continuing educational LGBTI events and training sessions for team members and leaders
  • Hosting a diversity roundtable and networking event
  • Growing the Proud at Woolworths Group to 2000+ members
  • Celebrating Wear it Purple Day across the Group, nationwide
  • Partnering with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2019 with teams participating in their first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade this year
  • Launching LGBTI inclusion training online to improve access for all team members
  • Hosting a guest panel event to mark Transgender Day of Rememberance to drive transgender awareness and inclusion across the Group
  • Inclusion of a double-page spread on LGBTI inclusion in Woolworths Group Sustainability Report.

Meanwhile, RMIT University has been named the 2019 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion with Lendlease receiving platinum recognition.

According to AWEI, it is the first time a non-private commercial organisation has been awarded Employer of the Year status.

More than 730 business leaders, diversity champions and HR professionals representing all sectors and employer sizes came together at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney to celebrate the results of the AWEI this year.

“LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, and is starting to make a mark in the sporting and service provider sectors as well,” said Dawn Hough, director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, adding that there has been continued growth in participation in the index since its launch in 2010.

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