Creating an inclusive workplace

Providing a supportive workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex employees was the focus of a training awareness session at AGL Loy Yang.

AGL Loy Yang leaders and employees from the power generator’s peer support group, ‘Help a Mate’, were joined by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing.

Ms Shing shared her experiences as the first openly lesbian member of the Parliament of Victoria and provided insights into how individualsand workplaces can make a difference in creating a caring and safe workplace for LGBTI employees.

Ms Shing also highlighted the damage homophobic language can cause, particularly with young people who may be struggling to come to terms with their sexuality or gender identity.

“It is great to see leading Gippsland employers such as AGL Loy Yang showing positive leadership and encouraging informed conversations among their employees,” Ms Shing said.

“We all have a role to play making workplaces safer and more inclusive.”

AGL Loy Yang general manager Steve Rieniets said the training session was part of AGL’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace.

“We feel it is important to create a safe and supportive environment for all our employees and also to develop inclusiveness and connectedness,” Mr Rieniets said.

“Increasing our awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by LGBTI people is part of this process.

“It’s up to each and every one of us to make a difference in creating a caring and safe workplace.”

In 2014, AGL launched ‘AGL Shine’, an LGBTI and ally network to contribute to an inclusive workplace culture for LGBTI employees.

The network currently has more than 150 formal members, with hundreds of employees participating in training and networking sessions across AGL sites over the past 12 months.

AGL’s work in LGBTI inclusion was recently recognised by Pride In Diversity as part of the Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards, the national benchmark on LGBTI workplace inclusion.