Consulting firms win at Australian LGBTQ inclusion awards

03 June 2021 4 min. read

A raft of consulting firms have bagged honours at this year’s Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.

Professional services firm Capgemini has been named ‘Employer of the Year’ at the 2021 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards, with fellow consultancy Oliver Wyman taking home the award for ‘Small Employer of the year’. KPMG, Accenture, PwC, Deloitte and EY were also among those organisations acknowledged at the Sydney-held event, along with individuals including EY’s Gina Mills and Steph Sands of Capgemini.

“Over the past year, we have seen incredible advancements in workplace diversity and inclusion despite the turmoil we all experienced on a global scale,” said Dawn Emsen-Hough, the Pride Inclusion Programs director for NSW community health organisation ACON. “It’s incredibly encouraging to see workplaces in Australia continue to remain dedicated and stride towards greater inclusion of our LGBTQ communities.”

Consulting firms win at Australian LGBTQ inclusion awards
The awards are based on the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) and the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI), two annual bench-marking tools which companies can use coupled with employee surveys to measure the progress and impact of their LGBTQ inclusion initiatives. This year, a record 186 employers participated in the program, from just 24 in its first year, while the surveys yielded almost 45,000 responses.

Following on from back-to-back winner RMIT, this year’s top honour went to Capgemini, with the IT consultancy also jointly awarded for ‘Network of the Year’ together with KPMG. In addition, Capgemini won the ‘Trans & Gender Diverse Inclusion Award’, while the firm’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion – Senior Director Steph Sands – was the recipient of the OUT Role Model Award.

“I am so proud of our Capgemini Australia and NZ team,” said Asia Pacific CEO Olaf Pietschner. “Congratulations to Steph Sands, an advocate for our diversity program at Capgemini. She is an inspiration and role model of ‘bringing your true self to work’. Inclusion is at the core of Capgemini’s purpose: ‘Unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future’, and we are truly living our purpose every day.”

Other individual awards went to IBM’s Katrina Troughton as CEO of the Year and EY NextWave director Gina Mills as ‘Network Leader of the Year’, with Mills claiming the award ahead of fellow finalists Wayne Marshall of Capgemini, the NAB’s Lisa Wade, and Boston Consulting Group principal Alan Wong. Mills has served as EY’s Oceania LGBTQ Unity network leader since 2018, with the firm claiming the top overall award in the same year.

“This year our Unity network’s focus has been on elevating the profile of underrepresented groups under the rainbow banner, including specifically queer women, bi+, trans and non-binary people, and I'm so proud of what we have achieved so far,” Mills said, noting the years of sustained and significant efforts by past and present members. “For me personally, in these disrupted times, leading Unity has given me a great sense of teamwork, belonging and purpose.”

EY, together with two-time winner Accenture, was also recognised as a Platinum Employer – earned through long-term ‘Gold Employer’ status – while, from the business consulting and accounting realm, Deloitte, Capgemini and KPMG achieved gold, Mercer and BCG made silver (the latter in the small employer category), and Grant Thornton featured in bronze. PwC was recognised as a ‘Platinum Projects’ organisation.

Meanwhile, strategic consultancy Oliver Wyman has claimed this year’s ‘Small Employer of the Year’ award, as well as being named a ‘Gold Employer’. “Congratulations to our Australia team for this honour and for achieving for the third year an overall Gold status!” the firm stated. “The work compiled annually by employers submitting for the Index is a testament to the importance of LGBTQ inclusion with their current inclusion and diversity initiatives.”