There are many different views on marriage equality among our millions of customers, our shareholders and in the Australian community more broadly.

And when it comes to our 32,000 employees, the range of views is just as diverse.

As our CEO Andy Penn said last week in his blog an easy decision in a difficult debate, as a supporter of marriage equality, the focus for us as an employer during the Marriage Law Postal Voting period, is upholding our long-standing commitment to inclusion and equality.

As part of our YES vote position, we are committed to fostering – and just as importantly facilitating – open and respectful discussions across our large and diverse workforce.

As business leaders, we care deeply about the community of which we are a part and the employees we represent, and so our approach to supporting our people through the voting period is grounded in the following principles:

Respect and consideration

Appreciating differences is vital in maintaining respect towards each other in our conversations on this topic, in line with our values ‘better together’ and ‘show you care’.

Through our employee networks including our Spectrum Committee for LGBT+ inclusion, we are providing open channels and opportunities for advice, support, information and engagement. And it’s around these issues that ignite personal passion in our people that our internal social network Yammer really comes to life.

With one of the largest Yammer workforces using Yammer in the Asia Pacific region, the topic of marriage equality is the single most discussed topic across our nine year history using this social platform. Yammer is the voice of our people and as a company, we are committed to fostering open conversations in a way that ensures everyone can have their say, and be heard respectfully.

By creating an environment where all opinions are valued, our people are can find the courage to challenge themselves and others, to respect what everyone has to offer.

We are all part of a team

Our purpose – to create a brilliant connected future for everyone – rallies everyone to something that is bigger than the individual. It unites us as one, and ensures we’re all moving in the same direction irrespective of the differences among us- differences we seek to include, celebrate and of which we help our people feel proud.

During this time we will also support and equip our people leaders to hold team conversations if they wish to or if their teams desire them to, whether or not they align to Telstra’s position.

A key part is reminding our people that our confidential Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees, at any time. Acknowledging that the strong and differing views about this issue can make it an uncomfortable topic for some people – the program offers a holistic range of support and resources to assist our people in managing their wellbeing both inside and outside of work.

Encouraging everyone to have their say

In addition to encouraging respectful discussion and equipping our people to have courageous and comfortable conversations at work, we can play a role to encourage everyone to have their say where it really counts – by lodging a postal vote.

As a large Australian employer, during the postal voting period we need to be inspiring our people to work together. We stand for inclusion, diversity and equality and our role is to support and be respectful that there are many views in this debate. What we can be proud of during this time is that Telstra is a company committed to diversity, inclusion and to creating a brilliant connected future ahead for everyone. And we mean everyone.

Telstra Corporation Limited

Authorised by: Alex Badenoch

The Commonwealth Government has passed laws to promote a respectful public debate on the marriage law survey. These laws apply to any public statement we make as a company about the survey, and require Telstra to authorise and attribute all communication about the survey. These laws apply from now until the publication of the survey results on 15 November 2017.