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Inclusion starts with us

Tuesday 14 November 2017

A group of Queensland Health employees walk in the Brisbane Pride March behind a Queensland Health rainbow banner.
Photo: Brisbane Pride Festival Facebook. Queensland Health employees rally together to show support for LGBTIQ+ employees at the Brisbane Pride March.

When you think about the amount of time we all spend at work, finding happiness there is incredibly important — for both employees and their organisations. It makes sense: if people are happy and feel included at work, productivity will increase and have a positive flow on effect across the whole organisation.

But unfortunately this isn’t the case for a large portion of the LGBTIQ+ community, with research indicating that up to 50 percent hide their identity at work and one-third of those are using a significant amount of energy to hide it.

At Queensland Health, we don’t want this to be the norm. We want to lead by example by ensuring there is an inclusive culture in all of our workplaces. Having a genuinely diverse workplace will mean that all staff are educated in inclusion and will be more likely to recognise and respond to LGBTIQ+ community needs across the state.

There are other good reasons for organisations like Queensland Health to be inclusive. There has been clear evidence that companies can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by implementing diversity policies. This research also shows major productivity improvements across organisations that implemented these policies, with an average 20-30 percent increase in staff reporting they feel valued and respected.

Queensland Health has taken this research on board and used it to create our own policy, the Queensland Health Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2017 to 2022.

While the emphasis is on inclusion and diversity for ALL employees in the workplace, the LGBTIQ+ community is a priority. Some of the key goals we will be working towards are:

  • Creating a diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce culture
  • Supporting employees to bring their whole self to work
  • Removing systemic or attitudinal barriers to the career progression of people from diverse backgrounds
  • Providing resources to support line managers and leaders to achieve a more diverse and inclusive workplace

We have also created the LGBTIQ+ Network, a space for LGBTIQ+ employees, their friends and allies to connect, share information, drive workplace inclusion and support their colleagues. Through this network, employees can also attend a range of events, courses and activities, like the Brisbane Pride March in September, where we rallied behind our Queensland Government banner.

Having an inclusive culture at work is not just the right thing to do to support our colleagues, it’s beneficial for everyone. Whatever the results of the postal survey, Queensland Health is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive workplace for all.

Inclusion starts with us.

If you are a Queensland Government employee you can sign up for the LGBTIQ+ Network here.

Last updated: 14 November 2017