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Fiji Pride Network Is All About Inclusion

Fiji Pride Network Is All About Inclusion
From left: Business and corporate advisor Nur Bano Ali, fashion designer Ilai Jikoiono, stylist and creative director Faraz Ali, US Ambassador Judith Cefkin, and Australian ambassador Margaret Twomey at the ANZ Pride Fiji Network cocktail function in Suva on September 1, 2017. Photo: Maraia Vula
September 16
14:21 2017

Since its inception two years ago, the Fiji Pride Network has been successful in implementing its prime goal, workplace inclusion.

A cocktail function was hosted by ANZ Regional Executive Pacific, Tessa Price, at her residence in Suva on Friday, September 1 to celebrate the anniversary of the network.

One of the guest speaker at the event was former President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

“I’m really thrilled at the turnout and the support of the community for a cause that to be candid for me is bittersweet,” Ms Price said.

“It’s bittersweet as I have heard the stories about how people are treated simply because of their sexual preference.

“The sweet part is the celebration, the awareness we are building not only here in Fiji, but globally.

“Today we’re paying a special tribute to our Fiji Pride network – it’s been two years since we launched!

“Congratulations team – I salute you – I couldn’t be prouder of the success of the network and what we’ve achieved in such a short time through events such as this and by igniting meaningful conversations to keep diversity top of mind.

“And let’s be honest putting themselves on the line for further discrimination in a society that at times is less than accepting.”

From left: Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji Margaret Twomey, Former President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and ANZ Regional Executive Pacific Tessa Price cut the cake at the ANZ Pride Fiji Network cocktail function in Suva on September 1, 2017.  Photo: Maraia Vula

From left: Australia’s High Commissioner to Fiji Margaret Twomey, Former President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and ANZ Regional Executive Pacific Tessa Price cut the cake at the ANZ Pride Fiji Network cocktail function in Suva on September 1, 2017. Photo: Maraia Vula

At ANZ, she said they support workplace inclusion, and that means we support LGBTI inclusion, gender equity, inclusion of people who are differently abled – “we understand the value that a diverse workforce brings to a business”.

“It is core to our purpose – we believe in equal opportunity for all. We believe discrimination has no place in society.

“We’ll continue efforts to ensure our LGBTI employees – and customers – feel welcome at ANZ.

“We want ANZ to be a place our people are proud of, where they feel safe to bring their whole selves to work.

“Our agenda here is very simple – we want to be an employer with a culture of respect for our people and the communities in which we operate.

“We also want to create meaningful social change that helps people and communities thrive.

“How can we achieve this? Internally and externally this includes diversity support networks and inclusion programmes, how we design our products and services.

Ms Price said our actions also reflect our values and belief that a strong inclusive and diverse workplace motivates people to deliver better results, and in turn better commercial outcomes.

“Diversity simply makes business sense, and research shows this is true.

“A 2015 study from Bersin by Deloitte showed that diverse companies had 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period than non-diverse companies did – the numbers say it all.

“And doesn’t that make complete sense? When you create a platform that allows staff to be themselves at work, they contribute more and innovate; engagement goes up, and the place where you spend some 50 per cent of your waking hours a day, is somewhere you’re looking forward to returning to the next!”

Diversity matters to business.

“According to a recent McKinsey study, “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”

“So our work in driving diversity and inclusion must go on, encompassing all.

“I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: today to me is simply about equality – giving everyone equal opportunity and celebrating the richness of diversity.”

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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