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Tag: marriage-equality

Marriage law poll result is a welcome decision

Sustainability

Posted on November 15, 2017

3 min read

Telstra Staff at Midsumma
Taken at the Midsumma Festival where Telstra was a Technology Partner

As many of you know the Australian Government has been conducting a postal ballot on marriage equality and the results of that poll were released today.

They show a majority of Australians are in support of changing the law to legalise same sex marriage.

I am delighted with this outcome and, like many Australians, now look forward to the Parliament acting on the views of a large proportion of the Australian community.

This is a great step forward, a great step forward for a more diverse and inclusive Australia.

It is also a great step forward for Telstra’s LGBTI employees who hopefully will soon have the same opportunity to marry their chosen partner, as others do today.

As an organisation Telstra has publicly supported this change to legalise same sex marriage – as have I on a personal level – and I think it is important to reflect on why we took this position.

What has been obvious throughout this process is that there are many different views on marriage equality amongst our millions of customers, our employees, our shareholders and in the community more broadly.

What has also been obvious is that when corporations step into public debates, particularly where there are passionate and different views, they risk being criticised for trying to use their size and reach to influence the outcome.

For Telstra, our long support for equality and inclusion far outweighed any fear of criticism.

Because with the greatest respect for the diverse views held, we have been keen to reflect what we hold dear and what makes us who we are as an organisation – and that is a passionate, unwavering support for equality, diversity and inclusion.

We want Telstra to be a great place to work, a place to belong, a place where people can bring all of themselves to work and feel valued irrespective of their background, race, religion, age, gender or sexual preference.

Over many years and in many different ways we have worked to build Telstra into a diverse, inclusive organisation – and our public support for marriage equality is a part of that.

I am convinced we are a better organisation for it just as I am convinced Australia more broadly is a better, more inclusive place for supporting marriage equality.

Through this poll the Australian community has spoken. All eyes are now on the Parliament to see how this view will be translated into action.

For Telstra’s part we will continue to work with the Australians for Equality group and support our people – all of our people – through whatever steps come next.

Supporting equality, equally and respectfully

Telstra News

Posted on September 18, 2017

4 min read

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
Melbourne

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.

An easy decision in a difficult debate

Telstra News

Posted on September 15, 2017

4 min read

Opinions about whether to introduce marriage equality in Australia are strong, be they positive, negative or silent – as is your absolute right.

An inevitable side effect is whether companies (and their leaders!) should be part of such debates.

I am very conscious of the fact that when corporations step into public debates, particularly where there are polarised views, they risk being perceived as trying to use their size and reach to influence an outcome.

For us, the criticism runs along the lines of why does a company like Telstra feel it has authority to offer a view on marriage equality?

For us, our obligation overrules the criticism.

As business leaders, we care deeply about the community of which we are a part and the employees we represent.  We respect and protect their right to work in a diverse and inclusive environment and their right to hold equally diverse views on marriage equality.

Many of our 32,000 employees care deeply for marriage equality as it affects them directly, or a family member or friends.  For us it’s about celebrating equality in all of its forms so our people feel safe, are comfortable, can be proud to love and marry their chosen partner.

Supporting differences, and similarities

We need to be part of the communities in which we operate and that idea plays out most acutely in the diversity and strength of our workforce.

Companies that are diverse and inclusive are also the most effective at attracting and retaining the best talent because they are the best places to work.

Over many years Telstra has developed and rolled out many things to build and encourage diversity and inclusion including:

  • Our support for gender equity, including our work to close the gender pay gap and create gender equality in our recruiting procedures;
  • Our support for our employees that, for family and other reasons, need greater flexibility in their work arrangements;
  • Our support for employees who are victims of domestic violence, including the creation of our Family and Domestic Violence Leave Policy that provides employees with up to 10 days paid leave each year;
  • Our support for our LGBT+ employees including the creation of a thriving internal affinity network; and
  • Through our support for marriage equality.

This is not just a single cause for us, but a universal ambition to provide support for the many walks of life who choose to work and do business with us.

With the greatest respect for the diverse views held, to see marriage equality in the context of diversity and inclusion makes for an easy decision in a difficult debate.

We support diversity and inclusion heart and soul at the most senior levels so we support marriage equality.

Respect

Clearly there are many different views on marriage equality amongst our millions of customers, our employees, our shareholders and in the community more broadly.

We are not trying to tell people what to think or what to do.  We are respectful of all sides of the debate.

We are keen to reflect what we hold dear, what makes us who we are as an organisation, and that is passionate, unwavering support for equality, diversity and inclusion.

We want Telstra to be a great place to work, a place to belong, where people bring all of themselves to work and feel valued irrespective of their background, race, religion, age, gender or sexual preference.

If there is one thing we have learnt over many years of working to build a more diverse, more inclusive organisation it is that there are no universal or easy answers.

Making those programs work – and they have worked – has required courage, creativity and a determination to challenge traditional approaches. I am convinced we are a better organisation for it just as I am convinced we should support marriage equality.

Telstra Corporation Limited
Melbourne

Authorised by: Andrew Penn

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.