Building an inclusive future
Our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) work is a focus across the group globally, with a particular lens on LGBTQIA+ Inclusion, to ensure of our gender and sexuality diverse patients and employees feel safe within our facilities and supported to be themselves. Focus areas, as set by the Virtus Diversity Council, include:
- Greater training and education of staff, using lived experience from the LGBTQ+ community and real customer scenarios to improve service offerings.
- Review internal policies and processes, to ensure the inclusivity of LGBTQ+ employees is explicit and that we identify new policies and processes to further support LGBTQ+ employees.
- Relaunch the Virtus Ally Network, ensuring appropriate training, support resources, leadership and reporting structures are in place.
- Gender Neutral facilities, ensuring all Virtus sites are assessed for gender neutral facility opportunities via an internal audit.
- Patient engagement resources, including website reviews, LGBTQ+ specific resources and better utilising LGBTQ+ patient feedback to improve our services.
- Inclusive design of our patient and employee systems and forms, including within our Workforce Management systems and the Precision Fertility Digital Platform (PFDP).
LGBTQ+ awareness training
In 2020, we launched the first phase of our internal training program with LGBTQ+ inclusion awareness sessions held virtually for all levels of staff. The 90 minute session is an introduction to gender and sexuality diverse people, and the unique challenges they face both within the workplace and through the provision of healthcare services. The sessions are held by external D&I consultants, who are also members of the LGBTQ+ community.
As part of our global staff orientation program, we launched a dedicated D&I module that all new employees are required to complete prior to starting their role at Virtus. As part of the launch, all existing employees across Australia and Europe have been enrolled to complete the module.
Employee Support and Resources
We launched a dedicated LGBTQ+ support page on our company intranet, which is a hub of resources and information for LGBTQ+ employees, including:
- Confidential contacts,
- Information on our Ally network and support guides for those seeking to be an ally
- Processes for seeking HR support
- Inclusive language guides
- Travel advice for LGBTQ+ people
- Information on how to access our LGBTQ+ awareness training
To enhance our visibility as an inclusive workplace and healthcare provider, we joined the Welcome Here project in Australia and became members of Pride in Health + Wellbeing, a national program that provides year-round support in the provision of LGBTQ+ inclusive services for those working within the health and wellbeing sector.
Our donor program is at the heart of growing our LGBTQ+ inclusive services. In FY21 we launched a program of work, supported by our Precision Fertility Digital Platform, to optimise our donor services globally.
Our aim is to create an eco-system of donor solutions through the digitisation, automation and integration of donor and cryopreservation processes, clinical workflows and compliance as well as enhancing access to patient information and education.
We have also commenced rolling out rainbow lanyards to all staff across Australia and Europe to further boost visibility within our facilities.