In June 2020 SSI achieved a special milestone in its work around diversity and inclusion within the organisation when it was awarded Bronze Tier in the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.
SSI staff celebrating Wear It Purple Day
This was an amazing result for the first time undertaking this benchmarking tool and reflected focused attention to raise awareness and support gender and sexual diversity (GSD) inclusion at SSI.
Over the previous two years, SSI’s Gender and Sexual Diversity Working Group had focused on helping SSI improve its workplace inclusion from a GSD perspective. In that time, SSI held staff events and training on related topics, reviewed policies, created a GSD Champions Network, ran GSD projects in Ability Links, and signed the Canberra Statement supporting advocacy for GSD refugees and asylum seekers.
Proud of the work undertaken, SSI made its first submission to Pride in Diversity’s Australian Workplace Equality Index to benchmark its progress.
That helped to ensure that staff and clients who identified as LGBITQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender, queer, asexual, and indeed all diversities of sexuality and gender identity and expression), felt welcome, safe and valued when working with SSI.
It also demonstrated SSI’s support for LGBITQA+ communities more broadly, aligning with SSI’s passion for human rights and diversity. It helped everyone, with their own lived experience or not, to be positive allies.
Importantly, inclusion has benefits for everyone. Having an inclusive environment where each person can be their best unique self, and be valued for the perspectives and contribution they bring, enables everyone to effectively respond to the diverse needs of people they work with and achieve better outcomes for all.