Home' LOTL : Jul 12 Contents How is inclusion handled at PwC?
PwC is comprised of many high performing
individuals. Inclusion is handled on a person
by person basis. At PwC inclusion happens
at every level and starts with the tone at the
top, through to recognition and support
of initiatives such as GLEE@PwC and at
an individual level. A business is only the
sum of its people, and PwC has respect,
integrity, character, and beyond tolerance, an
appreciation that every person counts.
Could you tell us about GLEE@PwC?
GLEE@PwC (Gays, Lesbians, and
Everyone Else) currently has about 130
members. It was started in November 2010
by a group of about 10 individuals who are
hard-working, passionate and dedicated.
Through networking, mentoring, community
outreach, business and development
initiatives, GLEE has increased the numbers
of employees who are 'out' at work, either as
members of the LGBTI community, or allies
of the cause. In fact, our allies are our biggest
asset as they outnumber the self-identified
LGBTI employees within our group.
What is GLEE's purpose? How do
employees get involved?
It's simple to be involved with or become
a member of GLEE. Send an email to the
GLEE@PwC address listed in the corporate
directory and you're added to the mailing list
for planned events and opportunities.
What strategies has PwC put
into place to ensure LGBTI
folk are treated fairly at work?
PwC has a diversity
statement which recognises
transitioning in the workplace.
e Australian rm's diversity
statement is linked to the US
rm's to ensure alignment
of policies across the PwC network, and that
policies address the relevant issues facing LGBTI
PwC Australia has established a dedicated
network of LGBTI support contacts and has an
easily accessible, updated policy database. It is
also part of the rm's diversity with an LGBTI
and GLEE steering committee member on the
You're originally from the US -- how does
Australia fair against your US counterparts?
When I decided to come on secondment
to Sydney, the first thing I did was reach
out to the GLEE network about the office
environment and the city itself. It really
helped me to acclimatise to my new home.
Immediately, I was welcomed with open arms
and I had friends the first day. Since then,
being a part of GLEE has been one of the most
enriching and rewarding experiences of my
career with PwC, and has allowed me to reach
out and connect with co-workers and clients on a
whole new level.
Coming from San Francisco, Australia is
de nitely a di erent environment than what I'm
used to. In San Francisco, no issue or topic is o
limits. e knee-jerk reaction is voicing opinions
and movement towards change.
In my short experience in Australia, people all
too o en avoid the issue instead of confronting
it head on. Without the same legal inequality
present in the US around taxes, marriage, and
rights driving its LGBTI movement, Australia
seems to still be looking for its voice and its
purpose in the movement.
at being said, I'm very impressed with
those very passionate Australians who are on the
frontlines of the movement everyday -- and who
have the strength to persevere in all conditions.
How common is discrimination in the
workplace and what are some typical
problems LGBTI folk may face?
Unconscious bias is one of the biggest
challenges LGBTI employees face. Unconscious
bias is not outright bullying, but more a lack of
awareness or perception that people have di erent
backgrounds and opinions. We live in a world of
normalised heterosexual norms -- but for LGBTI
employees, those aren't necessarily the norms at
all. Employees worry about reduced opportunities
for advancement if people nd out they are gay.
ey fear taunting and uncomfortable work
environments when all they want to do is to work
and succeed like everyone else.
What's your advice to other companies
wanting to set up a more supportive
environment for LGBTI employees?
It's a long journey, and at times may feel like
an uphill battle. ere will be obstacles but the
reward is worth it. Make sure you're doing it for
the right reasons, identify your key stakeholders
and don't go it alone.
Diana Greshtchuk reveals why PwC
came up trumps in the AWEI awards.
The Australian Workplace Equality Index
requires participating organisations to submit
extensive evidence of their LGBTI inclusivity
along with a comprehensive analysis of work
completed over the year in relation to:
• LGBTI inclusive policies and practice -
30% of the marks allocated.
• Inclusive culture and employment
involvement - 40% of the marks allocated.
• Diversity training (with LGBTI component)
• LGBTI community engagement -- 10%.
• Additional work over and above index
• Participation in an optional employee
survey -- 5%.
Each submission is then graded against a
comprehensive rubric, designed to ensure
that the scoring and ranking process is
fair, equitable and evidence based. The
assessment process is rigorous and has
undergone several reiterations via the UK
version to withstand the test of time.
Submissions are marked twice and points
allocated are tracked. Once all submissions
have been marked, the spreadsheet
collates the information and generates the
organisations overall score, culminating
in a ranking for the Top 10 organisations.
Pride in Diversity does not rank or announce
the participation for any of the remaining
organisations so as not to discourage those
who are starting in this area.
Both qualitative and quantitative feedback
is then provided to each participating
organisation in a comprehensive and
transparent report with comparisons
against public sector, private sector, Top 10
employers and in some instances industry.
Strategy support is then provided in terms
of improvement and for members, year-long
guidance and assistance as needed.
AUSTRALIAN WORKPLACE EQUALITY INDEX
Unconscious bias is
one of the biggest
16 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Special Feature | Workplace
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