Property Australia

Property leaders push for LGBTQ inclusion

Adrien Moffatt Adrien Moffatt June 22, 2021

Scentre Group is among the top organisations for LGBTQ inclusion, following the Australian Workplace Equality Index LGBTQ Awards. We asked Scentre Group CEO Peter Allen why his company is focused on LGBTQ inclusion.

The Australian Workplace Equality Index saw a record 186 organisations participate this year, with the companion employee survey receiving 44,915 responses – the highest ever.

Property Council members Lendlease, EY and Macquarie Bank were three of four ‘Platinum’ employers, while Scentre Group is one of a select group of ‘Gold’ employers recognised for obtaining scores in the top 10 per cent.

Scentre Group chief executive officer Peter Allen welcomes the award, which he says builds on the company’s silver tier recognition last year.

“We are one of 20 companies to receive this benchmark recognition, reflecting our commitment as leaders to continue learning and applying best practice,” Allen explains.

“Our ambition is to create an inclusive workplace that ensures our people from the LGBTI+ community feel respected and comfortable to be themselves at work. We see this as essential for our business to be the place for talent to thrive.”

Scentre Group has formed an LGBTI+ working group as part of its diversity and inclusion strategy. This also includes the Allies Network Left, Right & Scentre. The Allies group now numbers 277 or 11 per cent of Scentre Group’s total employee population.

In 2019 Scentre Group broadened the gender definitions recorded in its recruitment system to include 11 gender options. When coupled with a diverse talent attraction strategy, Scentre Group has successfully attracted 247 applicants across nine genders.

Chris Zerial, Westfield Sydney’s centre manager and the LGBTI+ working group leader says Scentre Group is focused on authenticity.

“For organisations looking to create internal change, it’s important to recognise that inclusion initiatives cannot stand alone. Creating a broader culture of inclusion will help to drive success in an authentic way.”

Zerial suggests that property companies start by ensuring the workplace experience allows people “to bring their whole self to work”.

“This will mean reviewing and building upon your policies to show your LGBTI+ communities that you stand behind them.

“Having a strong ally network – a group of dedicated individuals within your organisation that help to deliver key messages and embed practices and processes – is another great way to drive real cultural change.”

The Property Council congratulates members honoured in the 2021 AWEI LGBTQ Inclusion Awards. Download a full list of the AWEI LGBTQ winners.