It’s Trans Awareness Week. We sat down with Rachel Chapman-McCowan, Executive General Manager Human Resources Asia Pacific, to talk about the week, what it means to be inclusive and how you can be involved.
Celebrating the identity of our employees and the identity of our customers is part and parcel of who we are at MAX. Our tag line of ‘Every Person. Every Chance’ has the principle of equality at is core.
Within any diverse community – whether that’s a workplace, a regional town or a big city – there will always be people of different backgrounds and experiences.
Giving people a platform to speak, be seen and be heard is an important part of making sure that people are seen as what they are – equal.
Trans Awareness Week provides an opportunity to have the conversation, celebrate and share information.
We take a good hard look at our business every year. Participating in the Diversity Council of Australia’s Inclusive Employer Index gives us a good chance to understand perspectives of employees and how they feel within the business.
Employees told us:
95% positive result for team inclusion
93% positive result for both inclusive leadership and inclusive organisation
It gives us a good understanding of how our employees feel and the impact of initiatives we run across the business.
We run a Gender Diversity education program across the organisation which helps provide education to people who may not share any lived experience of what it means to be Trans. Giving people the opportunity to be curious, to learn and educate themselves is absolutely key.
Connecting people is also important. We have an employee network called the Rainbow Room, a place for gender diverse and LGBTIQAP+ employees to connect, talk with each other, celebrate and support initiatives. Connectivity between employees from all different parts of the business helps build a sense of community and togetherness within the business for people with similar experiences.
This year we started participation in ACON’s Welcome Here project – an initiative that came from the Rainbow Room. It is a signposting program which shows people entering our premises that gender diverse people are welcome. The impact of that is beneficial both for our employees coming to those offices, and our customers who visit them.
You don’t need to be Trans to participate. Taking time out of your day to read about the topic, watching something to learn about pronouns or understanding other people’s experiences goes a long way to building a more inclusive environment.
Unfortunately, 1 in 2 Trans folk have experienced anti-trans sentiment in the past 12 months. (Source Minus 18). But 78% of Australians agree that Trans people deserve the same rights and protections as other Australians. So there is work that can be done to help reduce transphobic rhetoric.
But most importantly, celebrate and give space for people to be recognised, visible and their authentic selves.