The Andrews Labor Government is continuing its support for LGBTIQ+ communities, ensuring that jobseekers have access to safe and inclusive employment services.
Minister for Employment Ben Carroll visited the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda announcing a funding package to assist LGBTIQ+ Victorians access job-readiness programs, connect with supportive employers and develop skills for career success.
The $340,000 investment will fund employment service providers such as Fitted for Work to deliver Project Purple, which enables transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse Victorians more access to employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, funding to the Pride Centre will connect LGBTIQ+ jobseekers with Jobs Victoria Partners and other employment service providers.
Michelle Sheppard, a leading advocate in the gender equity space, shares her experience with discrimination in the workplace and says inclusion of LGBTIQ+ employees remains inconsistent.
“Transgender jobseekers face discrimination, with an unemployment rate three times the national average,” she says. “And despite advancements, two-thirds of LGBTIQ+ employees still hide their identities at work. This impacts their wellbeing, satisfaction, productivity, talent retention and leadership growth.”
Established by the Labor Government and the only centre of its kind in Australia, the Pride Centre is a resource and ideas hub for LGBTIQ+ groups and organisations. Since opening its doors in 2022, the Pride Centre has attracted 17,000 visitors and houses 16 organisations.
Fitted for Work supports women, non-binary and gender diverse people to become job-ready and gain secure employment.
The not-for-profit organisation provides a range of work-readiness services including job search workshops, one-on-one interview preparation, and a personal outfitting service that helps people to access work-appropriate clothing.
Quote attributable to Minister for Employment Ben Carroll
“Everyone deserves a fair go when they're looking for work, and LGBTIQ+ people in our community face higher levels of discrimination than other Victorians – we’re proud to support organisations that levelling the playing field.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Equality Harriet Shing
“Diverse genders, sexualities and sex characteristics are part of every community in Victoria and make important contributions to our state, embracing this diversity and inclusive practices is critical in all workplaces.”
Quote attributable to Victorian Pride Centre Chief Executive Officer Justine Dalla Riva
"This is an exciting opportunity for the Victorian Pride Centre to present a series of events and activations that foster an environment of connection and support for LGBTIQ+ people seeking employment services."
Quote attributable to Fitted for Work Managing Director Donna de Zwart
“This funding represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the employment sector.”
Reviewed 11 September 2023