Now in its third edition, 23 companies completed SAWEI in full, with 7 companies competing for the first time. In total these companies employ 161,155 people and it was encouraging to see a wide spread of companies across sectors participating this year, particularly amongst major employers including banks and retailers.
Ernst & Young, McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble, Unilever South Africa, and Vodacom South Africa
Accenture, Baker McKenzie Inc, Bayer, Norton Rose Fulbright, Novartis, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Standard Bank, SAP, and Uber Technologies
The participants this year scored higher than participants in 2018 and 2019. We are optimistic that this is indicative of a South African workplace that is becoming more LGBT+ inclusive. All companies that have been tiered can be considered leaders in their field for LGBT+ inclusion.
The structure of the SAWEI mirrors the Forum’s framework of LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace, which consists of six elements that address both the ‘structures’ and ‘behaviours’ within a company - both of which are critical to workplace inclusion. The 2021 survey had 18 questions and provided a point scale as per previous surveys in order to provide participants with a useful comparison to help track and monitor progress year on year.
The SAWEI is the continent’s only index measuring levels of LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace, and sits alongside similar indices in Australia, Hong Kong, the USA, UK and Canada. All companies who participated should be commended for their willingness to participate and seek independent feedback as they progress on their inclusion journey.
Thabang Sebata , Director of the Forum, said: “As companies navigated and adjusted to a new normal within the context of the Covid pandemic, it is our hope that SAWEI will be a critical enabler to making the South African workplace a more inclusive place for all. A change in attitudes and acceptance in the workforce has the potential to create wider positive change. Moving forward, we plan to use the SAWEI as a platform to create dialogue between employers in order to share best practice.”