Deloitte CEO wins top LGBTI inclusion award

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Deloitte CEO wins top LGBTI inclusion award

19 May 2017: Deloitte Australia CEO, Cindy Hook has been named ‘CEO of the Year’ at the 2017 Pride in Diversity Awards held today. 

This year, Pride in Diversity received more nominations for the award than in any previous year, Hook was recognised for her contribution to promoting visible LGBTI role models to the LGBTI community within Deloitte and nationally. 

The award and the larger Annual Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) form part of the national benchmark on LGBTI workplace inclusion. 2016 is the fourth year that Deloitte have participated in the Pride in Diversity AWEI, each year improving their overall score and rank. For the 2016 assessment year, Deloitte Australia received the rank of Bronze for the third year running. 

On receiving the award, Cindy said that she was humbled to accept the award, emphasising that it was a greater reflection of the firm’s LGBTI network and leaders, who have worked to ensure a workplace where all employees could bring their whole selves to work. 

“The passion and commitment of our LGBTI network are behind all the achievements our firm has made in this space in recent years. Their dedication to ensuring a more inclusive workplace for not only our LGBTI employees, but bringing all our people closer together is something that fills me with pride.” 

Deloitte’s National Diversity and Inclusion Leader and Senior Partner, Margaret Dreyer, said that in 2016, the firm had made significant inroads on their LGBTI inclusion journey – due in large part to Cindy’s sponsorship of their LGBTI network and leadership forum – “GLOBE”. 

“We really pushed ourselves this year, introducing a number of initiatives to further improve LGBTI inclusion within our firm, but also to address what we saw as a lack of LGBTI role models in Australian business. From this gap and with Cindy’s sponsorship, the Deloitte/AFR Boss Magazine Outstanding 50 LGBTI Executives was born.” 

The initiative was conceived by one of our young LGBTI professionals – Andrew Cumberlidge – and published in the AFR Boss Magazine in December 2016. The list featured 50 of some of Australia’s most prominent LGBTI business leaders and executives, including Alan Joyce of Qantas and Jennifer Westacott of the Business Council of Australia. 

Deloitte Board member and leader of the firm’s LGBTI network, Katherine Milesi, said that Deloitte views inclusion as central to delivering on strategy, with LGBTI inclusion as the most recent pillar to form part of the wider Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategy.

“Whilst we have a long track record with regard to gender equality and cultural diversity – it has only been the last few years that we have really begun to make inroads in the LGBTI space – and what we have achieved is in no small part due to the support and sponsorship received from Cindy. 

“To have her formally recognised by Pride in Diversity is a wonderful achievement,” 

During the AWEI 2016 assessment period, Deloitte introduced a number of LGBTI inclusion initiatives under Cindy Hook’s leadership: 

  • Championed the Deloitte/AFR Boss Outstanding 50 LGBTI Executives initiative 
  • Ensured LGBTI inclusion was firmly on the organisation’s agenda by giving LGBTI employees an opportunity to tell their workplace ‘coming out’ stories at the largest national employee event to more than 7,000 staff
  • Raised profile of a number of key LGBTI dates of importance within the firm, including Wear it Purple and IDAHOT day, as well as hosting a professional services LGBTI networking event “InterFirm”
  • Conducted an LGBTI empathy study within the firm to assist in development and guidance of the firm’s LGBTI inclusion strategy
  • Rolled out a national governance structure of the firm’s LGBTI inclusion program ‘GLOBE’ to regional offices around the country
  • Conducted a number of face to face and online training modules across the firm to assist with LGBTI education and inclusion
  • Provided LGBTI-specific training to the firm’s leaders, particularly regional office managing partners, to ensure LGBTI inclusion is championed in all offices, not just key urban offices
  • Created a framework to launch a LGBTI specific mentoring program in 2017, where LGBTI new hires and graduates are partnered with a more senior LGBTI employee with a focus on navigating barriers that are unique or more prevalent for employees who identify as LGBTI. 

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Adrian Letilovic
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