Arup has been recognised as a Bronze Tier Employer at the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Awards. The awards acknowledge and celebrate organisations demonstrating foundational and progressive efforts toward making all workplaces inclusive for those who identify as LGBTQ+. 

Arup Australasia Co-Chair Kerryn Coker emphasised the importance of the AWEI in guiding the firm’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy, championed by both Arup’s Australasia Board and Global Group Board. 

“As one of the most rigorous, action-oriented benchmarks of inclusivity for Australian organisations, the AWEI strongly informs the actions identified in our Pride and Allyship Action Plan. As one of the four action plans that make up our EDI Strategy, it embodies our commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all current and prospective employees,” said Ms Coker.  

“Each year, we’ve seen genuine action improve the inclusiveness of the firm, such as our Boards’ reverse mentoring program, ensuring LGBTQ+ families are included in parental and domestic and family violence policies, and partnering with the Talent Acquisition team to improve the candidates’ early experiences with Arup. A vital part of our strategy to build a more inclusive Arup is having dedicated working groups driving initiatives that support LGBTQ+ staff, while our LGBTQ+ employee resource group Connect Out informs and influences these policies and practices based on their experiences.” 

Brad Harvey-Fiander, Chair of Arup’s Pride and Allyship working group, said, “It’s been an honour and a privilege to champion inclusive action to the extent that I’ve been able to do so. We’ve made a lot of progress in fostering a more welcoming and inclusive workplace since we first participated in the AWEI program in 2016. Receiving an AWEI certification is an evolving challenge, as we know we still have a lot of work to do in lifting workplace inclusion across industries, and I look forward to seeing what lasting positive change we can achieve in future submissions.” 

First held in 2011, the Awards are based on the results of the AWEI Submissions, which allows Australian organisations to benchmark their LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practice on an annual basis.  

Dawn Emsen-Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said she was proud to see employers around the country continue to commit themselves to improving LGBTQ+ inclusion practice despite issues that are continuing to have an impact globally. 

“We have some record-breaking results within the AWEI Submissions this year, highlighting the importance that participating organisations are placing on this work. We know from the AWEI Employee Survey that many within our community have been impacted by the negativity and misinformation that is playing out in social media and the country more broadly. The number of people out to all at work is continuing to decrease with respondents indicating that this is a significant reason. It is therefore critical that there remains a high level of focus on this important aspect of Diversity and Inclusion,” Emsen-Hough said. 

“These awards are a testament to the remarkable commitment of organisations who understand that importance and the individuals who are strong visible allies for LGBTQ+ people at their places of work. We hope this sends a powerful message to Australian employees that we are working incredibly hard to ensure that you can feel safe and empowered to bring your whole self to work.” 

Find out more about our commitments to inclusion in the workplace