Scientists at Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, are sparking more than scientific discoveries, by shining a light on their commitment to diversity at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) Parade.
CSIRO LGBTQI+ staff and allies will march in the Parade, providing each individual the Power to Shine – CSIRO’s Mardi Gras theme – in the Parade, the workplace and their everyday lives.
CSIRO’s [email protected] Network Lead, Chris Gerbing said marching in the parade highlighted to all Australians the value CSIRO placed on its LGBTQI+ community and their contribution to building a diverse culture to drive innovation.
“By empowering all staff to be themselves at work, we have grown an inclusive and diverse workplace culture,” Chris said. “Innovation happens when you bring together people with different views and experiences. We know that diversity of thought is crucial to doing impactful science and I’m looking forward to being in the parade and representing CSIRO and our incredible people.”
Last year a survey published in Nature (one of science’s most esteemed research journals) showed only 40 per cent of respondents felt their employers were doing enough for diversity. In a 2021 survey of CSIRO employees, 85% of LGBTQI+ respondents said they would recommend CSIRO as an inclusive place to work to other identifying people.
Through its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, CSIRO has implemented non-binary, trans and gender diverse inclusive policy improvements, leave provisions for gender affirmation, delivered diversity training to over 130 leaders within the organisation, evolved internal language to be more inclusive and updated IT and software systems to allow for personal pronoun changes and display.
These initiatives have been championed by CSIRO’s [email protected] professional network and social community for LGBTQI+ identifying employees and allies, which promotes and drives the inclusion of LGBTQI+ employees by raising awareness, supporting peers, and challenging discrimination.
In recognition of its commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace, CSIRO has been awarded Gold Status by the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) for the past two years. AWEI sets a national benchmark for LGBTQI+ inclusiveness.
Other programs that support a diverse workplace culture include CSIRO’s Reconciliation Action Plan to build stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, as well as its work with the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) and Champions of Change initiatives to improve gender equity.