Inclusive Employer 2023-2024: Future Group
The principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are firmly baked into our DNA as an ethical superannuation company that directly addresses climate change and inequality through investing in climate solutions for a better retirement.
Our journey to internally shift the dial in the DEIB space started in early 2021 when we employed a dedicated DEIB Specialist to lead this work and build the DEIB function from the ground up. This was an unusual move for a business of only 100 or so staff at the time, but we felt it was important to boldly lead in this space.
The first thing we did was join DCA, meet widely with other organisations who were successful in this space, and read and research voraciously. Our DEIB Specialist engaged a mentor, and with their advice was able to develop a three-year DEIB Strategy with the goal to be targeted about what we needed to do as a business. Strong data was crucial, and we started to collect new starter diversity metrics – all voluntary – noticing that employees were willing to share as we’d already created a safe workplace culture. We use this data to inform our policies and initiatives. We also measure our employee engagement across gender and cultural and racial background metrics.
At Future Group, we are cultivating an inclusive workspace where people can bring their authentic selves to work. Our people policies and initiatives are driven by recommendations from staff-led support groups pitching ideas to management. Through this culture of authenticity, staff are more open to share how they are going on a personal level, for example – a menstrual educator’s Lunch and Learn session has encouraged people to talk more openly about their menstrual health in a safe space.
Ultimately, we design and build workplace policies and initiatives from the ground up as we don’t believe the highest paid person in the room always has the best answer.
In 2023, we launched a number of progressive policies – Cultural Leave Policies for First Nations and Culturally and Racially Diverse employees is four days’ leave per year for identifying staff. Cultural Leave formalises and legitimises the significance of First Nations practices and occasions, as well as culturally diverse practices and dates of significance. For these policies, we sought input from our Reconciliation Action Plan First Nations consultant and our Employee Resource Group for culturally and racially marginalised people.
All our people policies and guidelines are open source on our website, we’d love you to steal them!
Our engaged Employee Resource Groups provide a safe space for employees to share experiences, celebrate dates of significance and put forward proposals to improve engagement and the overall inclusion experience for people who are otherwise marginalised. Our private groups include SuperGenders, a safe and supportive space for cis-women and trans-women; SuperGlobal, a group for culturally and racially diverse employees; SuperPride, a group for LGBTQIA+ employees in the business; and Neuro-spicy Brains, a group for neurodivergent employees.
We are committed to embedding reconciliation within our core business as well as ensuring that our investments, campaigning and advocacy are of service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
A small but highly impactful initiative has been the Acknowledgement of Country training delivered by a Perth organisation called Acknowledge This. Our new starters complete this training and tell us that they feel far more confident to deliver an Acknowledgement of Country at company meetings. The training is authentic, fun, and engaging and encourages people to learn and find out about the Traditional Custodian of the land that they are working and living on. We’d highly recommend you enrol your staff.
Our decision to develop Menstrual and Menopause leave was borne out of feedback from our SuperGenders employee resource group who recommended that employee engagement would increase if we implemented a policy like this. Our employees now receive six days’ menstrual and menopausal leave per year. The leave is intended to reduce stigma surrounding menstruation and menopause.