To strengthen its support for LGBTQ+ workers, Zurich Australia and New Zealand introduced a new gender affirmation policy which provides assistance to transgender and gender diverse team members incase they wish to assert their identity on a social or political level. They can avail upto four weeks of paid leave, followed by twelve weeks of unpaid leaves.
Personalised workplace action plans will be implemented for LGBTQ+ workers. Employee assistance programs will be driven out to ensure maintenance of a supportive environment for them by managers and other colleagues.
The idea is that colleagues and co-workers maintain a supportive environment as employees come into their own and have their own space to decide their own identities. Justin Delaney, Zurich Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive said that the Gender Affirmation Policy is a step towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace and ensures support, dignity and respect for the LGBTQ+ workers. He added, "Our people can feel confident to be themselves and feel safe and supported at Zurich. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths, with this new policy helping us reach our full potential."
Rodney Hanratty, Head of HR for Zurich Australia and New Zealand stated that the new policy is a testament to solidarity and support for transgender and gender diverse community workers in the bank.
PrideZ, Zurich Australia and New Zealand’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, has helped in the creation of this policy. Evelyn Foong, PrideZ executive sponsor, said this policy is a mark of appreciation for each other's differences and commitment to treat each other with care and respect. She added, “This is a proud day for me and our PrideZ network as we take another great stride at Zurich to become a truly diverse and inclusive organisation."
It is encouraging to see initiatives like PrideZ network and policy changes like introducing gender affirmation leave, by organisations in the Asia Pacific region, paving the way for a more inclusive workplace.