Meet Matthew. Matthew is a member of Aurizon’s LGBTIQ & Allies Network – ALLin, and proud to work for a company that embraces the challenge to start a conversation about inclusion and acceptance.
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). The day is an opportunity to recognise the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world, and to join together in celebration of sexual and gender diversities.
This day also signifies the first birthday of the Aurizon LGBTIQ & Allies Network – ALLin. The ALLin Network supports diversity and inclusion with a focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer Community – we aim for a safe and respectful environment where everyone can bring their whole self to work.
Personally, as a gay man, I see the connection and importance of talking openly about the issues that the LGBTIQ community face in Australian workplaces.
I came out to my family and friends years ago, but that wasn’t the only time. Like many others I have been faced with those innocuous questions on your first day in a new job.
Do I address their unconscious bias when they ask me about my wife or girlfriend? How will they react if I tell them I am gay? Should I just pretend to be someone else when I am at work? These questions are everyday realities – they have nothing to do with my work, but everything to do with my workplace.
In my roles at Aurizon I have spent time in and around our operations, more recently living and working in Rockhampton for the past two years. What I have seen within our workplace since the launch of our ALLin Network has made me proud to work for Aurizon. More than anything, what makes me proud of working for Aurizon are the leaders and employees who have embraced the challenge to start a conversation about inclusion and acceptance.
One of the most visible demonstrations of this, is the Rainbow Laces campaign where we asked employees to wear rainbow coloured laces in their work boots as a conversation starter and a visible sign of their commitment to inclusion at Aurizon.
What was first quite a confronting thought to ask of our employees became a defining period in recognising the willingness and commitment of our peers to champion a culture where we can all feel comfortable to bring our whole selves to work. The campaign was received with such enthusiasm that we soon ran out of rainbow laces, which are now a visible constant in our operations.
Our first year as a Network has been a full year of ‘firsts’ and achievements:
Awarded Bronze in the Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI) LGBTIQ Inclusion Awards.
Winner of the “People” category of the Aurizon Excellence Awards.
Successful formal launch of the network in Brisbane.
The commencement of Local Leads in 10 locations around Australia.
First time participation in the Brisbane Pride March.
A number of Aurizon employees becoming mentors as part of the Out for Australia mentoring program.
A number of Aurizon employees attending the WA launch of Out for Australia.
Wear it Purple Day being a huge success with Aurizon employees from around Australia raising awareness for LGBTIQ youth.
To celebrate the ALLin Networks first birthday, Aurizon’s Local Leads from around Australia are leading celebrations including activities such as a rainbow dress up day, wearing rainbow laces, and rainbow-styled morning teas.