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Medtronic have PRIDE

24 October 2017

At Medtronic, diversity, inclusion, and engagement aren’t just buzzwords — they’re part of our Mission to recognise the personal worth of all employees. We deliver on our Mission in a variety of ways including support of our Employee Resource Groups [ERG].

Medtronic PRIDE formed earlier this year in Australia and New Zealand to provide a community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Medtronic employees and their allies. Medtronic supports policies that further create and support equal treatment for all persons.  The company stands committed not only to promoting an inclusive global work environment but also to fostering a world where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their families are accepted, safe and valued.

Not surprisingly, one area of interest to this group is the Marriage Law Postal Survey in Australia. The survey, which is open until 6pm on 7 November 2017, asks eligible Australians on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll: should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? Yes or No.Catherine King_Marriage Equality

We recognise the outcome won’t be as simple as yes, or no. The consequences extend beyond the contract of marriage. They impact health – wellbeing – and worth. The Hon. Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Member of the Australian House of Representatives [pictured] recently stated:

“It’s a ridiculous proposition when the evidence is clear — this isn’t just a social issue, it’s a health issue… Failing to implement marriage equality is a form of social exclusion, a discriminatory environment which has been documented to foster feelings of lack of acceptance, rejection and low self-esteem.

We agree the debate is not healthy and a resolution is needed. We encourage all eligible community members to use their voting privilege and vote positively for a healthy Australia.

Meet a member of Medtronic Pride: Nicki Elkin, Retail Division Manager, MITG. Tenure with Medtronic: Five years

Medtronic Macquarie-000536

Tell us about the Medtronic Pride Employee Resource Group

The Australia and New Zealand Medtronic PRIDE group was established this year, with the objective to promote an inclusive work environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) employees and their families are accepted, valued, and free of prejudice and discrimination. Our mission is to spread awareness, understanding and sensitivity to build a safe and respectful work environment that creates a culture of inclusion, equality and respect for all employees.

Why is it important to you to be part of Medtronic Pride?

We all spend a significant proportion of our lives at work, and I strongly believe that everyone should feel comfortable there.    I am part of the LGBTIQ community, and have experienced homophobia in various workplaces. I have felt uncomfortable about ‘coming out’, fearing the response I might receive. Much of this was probably my own internal fear, but I don’t believe that anyone should have to have that experience. I want to be part of creating an organisation that proactively creates and works really hard to promote a positive culture; where no one is ever unsure about the response they will receive.

How would you vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, and why?

YES!

This is much more than a vote about marriage. There are young people growing up in Australia today who may be questioning their sexuality or gender. If our country says you can marry whoever you love, regardless of gender, this will help them grow up feeling that who they are is OK. If Australia says NO, these young people will get the strong message that there is something wrong with them; that it is not acceptable to be different. I know personally what a damaging message this is for a young person to hear.

LGBTIQ people have significantly poorer mental health and higher rates of suicide than other Australians. Self-harm and suicide rates for same-sex attracted young people are six times higher than for their heterosexual peers.

If allowing marriage equality can send a positive message to LGBTIQ people, can create a more positive environment for LGBTIQ people to grow up in, and can, in any way, lessen their feelings of exclusion – why not?!

What is your message to Australian’s unsure of how to vote?

Please vote YES. I know there has been confusing information shared within the community. Consider this

  • Religious Marriage will not change – it is separate from civil marriage and religious leaders will still be able to refuse to marry whoever they want, including same-sex couples
  • Parenting won’t change – same-sex couples are already able to raise families, have access to IVF, foster, adopt and be named on birth certificates as parents
  • Schooling won’t change – any changes to the Safe Schools programme will be made independently to any change to the Marriage Act

So, why do same-sex couples want the right to marry?

  • Married parents have clear legal parental rights over their children. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give them these same rights, and strengthen family bonds
  • In the event of your partner’s illness or death, being married gives you clear rights and entitlements that de facto couples do not have. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give them these same rights, allowing them to make critical decisions in this really difficult time
  • Marriage is recognised in our society as the ‘ultimate’ commitment you can make to another person. Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give a strong message that their relationships are equally important and meaningful.

I hope our community will work together to be a part of history and make Australia a better, more inclusive, more accepting place.

To learn more email australia@medtronic.com.

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