Diversity Australia Blog
Diversity Australia Blog
“Diversity is strength – and the world’s greatest fire department will grow even stronger when it more closely resembles the city it serves.” -Mayor Bill de Blasio, June 2, 2015
On June 2, 2015 Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Intro. 0579-A, allowing for greater transparency into the New York City Fire Department application and hiring processes by requiring that an annual report be made with regard to the racial and gender makeup of applicants. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Elizabeth Crowley, was a result of years of scrutiny on diversity in the FDNY. Currently, less than .5 percent of over 10,000 FDNY firefighters and officials are women. In 2014, the city agreed to a $98-million-dollar settlement paid out for lost wages and benefits to 1,470 black and Hispanic firefighter applicants.
In introducing their bill, Rosenthal, chair of the Council’s Committee on Contracts, and Crowley, chair of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice, cited far greater percentages of women in other cities’ fire departments. Their bill had 43 other council members sign on as sponsors, was swiftly approved of by the mayor, and was, for some, a long time coming.
The following is an abridged history leading up to the signing of the bill.
Companies will feature in full-page ads and are among 154 of Australia’s biggest brand names calling for parliament to act on marriage equality.
Corporate giants McDonald’s, Twitter and the big four banks are among 154 of the nation’s biggest household brands to declare their support for same-sex marriage.
The companies, also including Telstra and Airbnb, will feature in full-page ads in Weekend Australian Magazine calling for marriage equality. They’ve also signed a joint letter calling on federal parliament to act.
Advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality (AME), which organised the ad, said the outpouring of support showed how important marriage equality was for workplace equity, jobs in the wedding sector and Australia’s international reputation.
“The message is clear: the country is ready for change,” director Rodney Croome said. The ad was paid for by contributions from featured firms.
Acting CEO of Australian law firm Slater and Gordon, Hayden Stephens, said legalised discrimination in one area allowed discrimination to flourish in other areas.
“We would never discriminate against a client because of their sexuality and we don’t believe that the law should be able to continue to discriminate either,” Stephens said.
An open letter of support posted on the Australian Marriage Equality website features 183 signatories from across the corporate world.
“Equality in the workplace works; discrimination does not,” it states. “We support the right for all our employees to have equal opportunities in life. We therefore support marriage equality.”
In May, business leaders, including the CEO of Australia’s national airline, Qantas, voiced their support for marriage equality at a panel in central Sydney. The event, organised by AME, was titled “Does marriage equality matter to corporate Australia?”
The CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, said the company’s slogan, “Spirit of Australia”, reflected a commitment to represent the Australian community in his 28,000-strong staff. That included members with backgrounds from more than 250 different countries and a “huge gay community”.
Joyce said the fact an openly gay man such as himself could be the head of one of the country’s “most iconic brands” reflected Australia’s already progressive nature. But now was the time for Australia to join the 19 other nations that allowed same-sex marriage.
A Guardian Australia survey on Wednesday showed more lower house MPs publicly support the move than are against it. However, there are enough MPs whose positions are unknown or yet to be declared that could push the vote either way.
The leader of the National party in the Senate, Nigel Scullion; Nationals MP Kevin Hogan; and the Motoring Enthusiast senator, Ricky Muir; are the latest parliamentarians to reveal their support for marriage reform.
At some point we will all have to start asking this question. At the AHRI Diversity and Inclusion Conference we have seen a the discussion still focus on legacy items where we still silo Gender Diversity as a ‘Women Can” program.
Can we not start knocking down this barrier and understand that its Gender we should be tackling as a whole.
Is humour the Best approach to fighting the lack of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace?