Close

At the top of the agenda

  • Why this successful broker focuses on property investors and referral partners

    He has settled more than $500m-worth of loans over the past ten years

  • Why this successful broker focuses on property investors and referral partners

    He has settled more than $500m-worth of loans over the past ten years

  • SPECIAL REPORTS

    • 2018 Commercial Lenders Roundtable
    • Top 10 Brokerages 2018
    • 2018 Brokers on Aggregators

    You could be forgiven for zoning out a little when the words ‘diversity and inclusion’ are thrown around; they are, after all, the latest buzzwords to dominate HR and culture conversations in corporate Australia.

    Every business wants to be seen to be taking great strides forward in this area, but they do not always walk the walk as much as they talk the talk. This is where Suncorp is crafting a niche for itself as a truly engaged organisation when it comes to diversity and inclusion. From tackling pay equity to supporting ageing workers, Suncorp is cementing its reputation as a pioneer on this front.

    In February this year, Suncorp received the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality award from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency – and it’s not the first time it has been recognised. In fact, this is the sixth year in a row that it’s won this award, speaking to the lender’s long-term focus on ensuring that each employee, both female and male, has a platform to embrace new career opportunities and shape the future growth of Suncorp.

    “Suncorp is proud of its achievements, and we continue to adapt our diversity and inclusion agenda to reflect our changing organisation and new workforce opportunities,” a Suncorp spokesperson says.

    “When I first started in the industry, it was very much a ‘bloke’s world’, but this has defi nitely changed over time, allowing people to bring their whole selves to work” David Burgan, Suncorp

    “For us, the key focus is to create an inclusive culture where we can encourage diversity of thought, experiences and points of view. We believe that we will be our best when our workforce is as diverse, talented and passionate as the communities in which we live and operate.”

    According to Suncorp’s Workplace Gender Equality (WGEA) Public Report for 2018/19, women held 44% of senior leadership roles and 50% of non-executive director roles during this period.

    Achieving gender equality in senior roles and among a growing pipeline of talent was Suncorp’s first focus on its path to diversity and inclusion, and the lender aims to remain active in ensuring that equality is honed across all levels of the organisation, including in the areas of pay, access to promotion, development, career opportunities and representation.

    Suncorp’s SA business development manager, David Burgan, says he considers himself “quite fortunate and lucky” to have been surrounded by “such open, inspiring leaders and colleagues in my career” during his time with the lender.

    “As a ‘proud’ gay man, now married and parent to a 14-year-old boy, we definitely have a unique household, and whilst we consider ourselves very, very lucky to be growing up in this current day, it hasn’t come without its challenges and judgment from others,” he says.

    “The last couple of years have been particularly challenging in and outside of work, but you will notice as you walk the floors at Suncorp little reminders that Suncorp applauds you for being you” David Burgan, Suncorp

    “When I first started in the industry, it was very much a ‘bloke’s world’, but this has definitely changed over time, allowing people to bring their whole selves to work … it’s my belief that whatever makes you different is what makes you more interesting and makes others’ lives better for having you in it.”

    Suncorp’s support really shone through “during the dreaded plebiscite”, Burgan adds.

    “I honestly could not ask for a more accepting and supportive employer, which starts with my direct team and leaders who were there for me every step of the way, knowing how challenging it was, not just for me but for my family as well,” he says.

    Reflecting on how far the industry has come with respect to diversity and inclusion, Burgan says that while a lot of progress has been made, brokers need to keep their feet on the pedal. Embracing different viewpoints is an important way of gaining the most opportune outcomes for brokers and their clients, he says.

    “It’s a real benefit of inclusion, and by reaching out and opening doors we can help each other to be our best.”

    Suncorp’s commitment to inclusion is certainly on display in its SA office, where signs on the walls in support of the LGBTIQ+ community speak volumes of a proud, inclusive culture.

    “For the LGBTIQ+ community, the last couple of years have been particularly challenging in and outside of work, but you will notice as you walk the floors at Suncorp little reminders that Suncorp applauds you for being you,” Burgan says.

    “Throughout our building you will find little signs with messages such as ‘I stand with my LGBTIQ+ colleagues’ and ‘I pledge to never stay silent about homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. I will always stand with my LGBTIQ+ mates. I am part of the solution’. Signs like this are incredibly comforting for members of our community, and having awareness and creating ways to start the conversation leads to real progress.”

    Original Article