Allianz Australia has won a prestigious work place diversity gong, the Cross Cultural Management Award at the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) Awards in recognition of its innovative partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI) that offers permanent employment to refugees and migrants in Australia.
Commenting on the win, Allianz Managing Director, Niran Peiris, said the award is recognition of Allianz’s efforts to foster a diverse workforce.
“The Sustainable Employment Program, a first-of-its kind partnership has attracted diverse talent into our business and forms part of our long-term diversity strategy at Allianz.”
The SSI Allianz scholarships provide refugees financial support to further their education or seek recognition for their skills developed in their home country, which assists in minimising the impact of the structural disadvantage that refugees often experience during the early settlement phase. Since launching, the program has provided 18 unique opportunities, bringing diverse talent from cultural backgrounds and disciplines including business, accounting and finance, learning and development and customer service.
“We know that there is a link between organisational performance and diversity. This drives our diversity of thinking, which in turn makes us more innovative and better equipped to serve our customers. At the same time, we are providing invaluable opportunities for those who have come to Australia following dislocation from their homeland,” Peiris said.
Accepting the award for Allianz Australia, Charis Martin-Ross, Diversity and Sustainability Manager, said that the program is an outcome of a successful collaboration between Allianz, SSI and the NSW Government.
“Imagine the trauma of being dislocated from your home, friends and country and having to start again? Being able to play a small role in helping our cadets rebuild lives for themselves and their families is an honour – I can’t think of anything more important,” she said.
Peter Wilson AM FCPHR, Chairman, Australian HR Institute commented, “The AHRI Awards help us celebrate business leadership and excellence in human resource practice. It is a privilege to host this annual opportunity to highlight the work of individuals who are contributing to the business successes of their organisations, and to the impact that organisations are making in boosting the productivity of the nation through excellent management of their people.”
The AHRI Awards is Australia’s most prestigious HR awards program, with categories independently judged by an advisory panel of global leaders from HR and business, including Dame Quentin Bryce. Within the category of Workplace Diversity, the award recognises excellence in cross cultural management initiatives and programs in the workplace.