Sector News

Pride in celebrating diversity and inclusion


WorldPride is a global event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and promotes their rights and visibility around the world. It is a festival of diversity, equality, and inclusion that brings together people from all walks of life, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

With WorldPride celebrations well and truly underway across the country, there is currently a strong focus on how organisations promote cultural change and commit to creating a stronger and more inclusive community.

Great Southern Bank’s Pride Tribe group has helped to significantly raise awareness and support for LGBTQ+ colleagues, allies, and customers through events, activities, and communications. We recently caught up with Great Southern Bank to find out more about Pride Tribe.

The Pride Tribe was established as part of Great Southern Bank’s commitment to building an inclusive culture to support our LGBTQ+ team members. It’s important to us that everyone feels respected, valued, and has a sense of belonging so they can bring their whole selves to work.

Originally known as the GLEE Club (Gay, Lesbian and Everyone Else), the group was established in 2017 as part of our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy to build a more inclusive workplace and to proactively provide a support network for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. In 2021, to be more inclusive of allies and all diverse groups, GLEE was re-branded, with a new name and logo.

Pride Tribe is now a well-established group within Great Southern Bank and welcomes new team members as part of our corporate induction and onboarding process. The results have been overwhelmingly positive.

Over the past two years, Great Southern Bank has seen an increase in the number of LGBTQ+ team members comfortable to express their sexual identity to everyone at work from 37% in 2021 to 60% in 2022. This runs counter to research showing a continuing decrease nationally for LGBTQ+ team members who express their identity at work. Pre-pandemic levels showed 67% of team members being out, compared to only 59% in 2022. (PID, AWEI Survey, 2022)

Group-wide participation in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) survey has also been increasing year on year from 35 in 2020 to 240 in 2022 thanks to the work of the Pride Tribe.

Most importantly there has been an increase in people sharing their vulnerability, with open and honest stories from senior leaders through to team members. This has allowed team members to feel safe, supported, and comfortable to ‘come out’ and be proud to be their genuine selves at work. Overall, this has a positive flow-on effect to improving mental health, quality of life, and engagement, contributing to better business outcomes for the Bank.

The group has also led to physical changes in the organisation. A greater awareness and understanding of LGBTQ+ needs has led to the installation of gender-neutral bathrooms in Great Southern Bank’s Brisbane and Melbourne Hub offices.

The group has introduced visible symbols of support such as welcome signs in branches and rainbow lanyards. Pride Tribe has also been active in educating team members through onboarding and corporate induction programs, awareness training and celebrating national events such as Wear It Purple Day, IDAHOBIT Day and Pride Month which last year included fun activities like Drag Queen Bingo.

Further benefits include partnering with Carlton AFL/WAFL to promote their new Pride Guernsey and AFL Pride Round leading to positive publicity and further strengthening Great Southern Bank’s commitment to gender inclusiveness and reputation as an inclusive employer.

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