22 PEOPLE | LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT 2018 LGBTI INCLUSION Since last year’s AusLSA report was published, and following a lengthy public debate, marriage equality in Australia was realised. The postal survey confirmed majority support for equality in this area of law. The attitudes expressed by those opposed to this change highlights that work to achieve full community acceptance of LGBTI community is far from over. While we saw much of corporate Australia publicly voice their support, some workplaces were left unwilling or unable to take a stand by publicly expressing their views on this issue. The postal survey provided those organisations already engaged in LGBTI inclusion the opportunity to walk the talk, and for those not yet involved, provided a catalyst for internal change. We were also confronted by those including many of our political, business and community leaders who showed that they were unable to completely accept and include LGBTI people as equal citizens. These attitudes and opinions illustrate the range of different attitudes and behaviours that impact LGBTI people in their workplaces. An undercurrent of prejudice still creates high human and business cost in many workplaces. The 2018 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) survey conducted by Pride in Diversity found twenty-five percent of respondents had personally witnessed or been made aware of negative commentary of jokes targeting LGBTI people within the last year. One in ten would not support their LGBTI colleagues talking about their life at work, having photos on their desk, or bringing family members to work events. Only half (49.85%) of the LGBTI respondents were completely out at work. Gay men (65.01%) and gay/lesbian women (63.51%) were most likely to be completely out at work, with significantly lower numbers for bisexual men (12.79%) and bisexual women (17.94%). Only two in five (38.86%) trans and gender diverse employees, and one in four (25%) intersex employees, were completely out at work. Diversity and inclusion initiatives that support LGBTI inclusion in the workplace foster a broader culture of inclusion and respect for all employees. All areas of diversity and inclusion practice are essential to the creation of effective, productive, innovative and engaged workforces. Employees who are completely out at work are more likely to innovate, provide excellent customer/client service, and work highly effectively in their teams. By encouraging employees to bring their authentic selves to work, organisations see benefits in productivity, talent attraction and retention, and enhanced organisational reputation. In November 2017 the United Nations launched the Standards of Conduct for Business encouraging companies to take five important steps to tackle discrimination against LGBTI people in the workplace: 1. RESPECT the rights of LGBTI through effective policies, due diligence and effective grievance mechanisms; 2. ELIMINATE discrimination against LGBTI employees in the workplace through sensitizing staff and managers, equalizing benefits, and eliminating discrimination from hiring and workplace practices; 3. SUPPORT your LGBTI employees at work – by creating an affirming, inclusive environment for LGBTI employees, and supporting LGBTI staff groups; 4. PREVENT discrimination and related violations against LGBTI suppliers, distributors or customers by using leverage to insist that business partners also uphold equality; 5. ACT in the public domain through standing up for LGBTI people in everywhere you do business. 2018 AusLSA Member Performance Overall, AusLSA members are reporting a growth in the strategic, management, and program based response to promoting LGBTI inclusion. This follows a year of strong growth in 2017. Eighty percent of firms reported having an LGBTI inclusion policy (up from sixty-eight percent in 2017 and sixty-three percent in 2016) and sixty- one percent of these firms reinforced this by publishing their commitment on their external website. The respondents that allocated a specific responsibility to implement their policy FORMAL POLICY PUBLISHED POLICY 58% 80% 42% 7% 13% Yes Yes No No Not Reported POLICY PUBLISHED