Creating diverse, accessible and inclusive workplaces

Last updated on December 1, 2022
Creating accessible and inclusive workplaces is a high priority for us – not just this International Day of People with Disability, on 3 December, but every day.

Did you know that approximately 1 in 6 (18%) people in Australia live with disability? Or that, of those who live with disability, approximately 1 in 3 (32%) people have a severe disability that affects their ability to communicate, get around or care for themselves? 

These are staggeringly high percentages. In fact, most people will experience a disability at some point in their lives, with the likelihood of disability increasing with age.

Just as public amenities need to cater to people of different abilities, so too must workplaces. With that in mind, we’re creating accessible workplaces that can empower people living with disability to participate fully in working life. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to thrive in the workplace.

In 2020, we launched our Accessibility Inclusion Plan (AIP), a five-year plan that outlines our accessibility commitments and how we plan to meet them. We developed the AIP with the Australian Network on Disability, a national membership-based network that supports organisations looking to include people with disability in all aspects of their business.

The AIP’s objective is clear – to make our workplaces, products and services more accessible, and embed dignified access to Allianz offices as ‘business as usual’. By instilling accessibility as a basic business principle at all levels of our operations, we aim to become more inclusive in our operations and service delivery, reflect positive community attitudes and embed equal opportunity as a fundamental right. 

We understand that people’s types of disability and reasons for living with disability differ – they can include accidents, disease, ageing, genetics, or a combination of all these factors. A disability may be temporary or chronic, total or partial, lifelong or acquired, visible or invisible.
Edyta Torpy
Edyta Torpy, Allianz Senior Diversity and Inclusion Manager

Edyta Torpy, Allianz Senior Diversity and Inclusion Manager, says people are entitled to equitable opportunities in the workplace and society no matter who they are.  

“When we talk about inclusion and belonging, we talk about people being able to be their whole selves while at work,” Edyta says. “Irrespective of who you are, we’re building on a culture where we acknowledge that people are different and there’s no such thing as ‘normal’. That’s whether you have English as a second language, you live with disability, identify as LGBTQI, or come from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.” 

“It’s our mission at Allianz to continue to focus on flexibility, understanding, belonging and care for our people when they work for us,” Edyta explains. “We take all of those things into consideration so our staff are set up for success.” 

When it comes to disability and the AIP, Edyta says Allianz channels efforts into four focus areas:

1. Our people – Raising awareness about what it means to live with disability. That is, supporting people with disability with improved access to employment opportunities within an inclusive work environment. 

2. Our customers – How we position ourselves in the market in support of our customers. We’re committed to creating, over time, more accessible products and services for our customers.

3. Our workplaces – The environment in which our staff work and operate. We prioritise accessibility throughout our workplaces and position dignified access as business as usual. 

4. Our communities – How the organisation interacts with our community and gives back to it. We maintain a proud relationship with the International Paralympic Committee and Paralympics Australia, and also work closely with Jigsaw, a services and support organisation that trains people with  disability to be work ready. 

The benefit of an accessible workplace isn’t just building an environment in which every staff member can thrive. It’s creating one where people of varying abilities want to work.   

“We want to become an organisation that can attract and retain people from all walks of life and with different life experiences, including people living with disability,” Edyta says. “Why wouldn’t we want to attract as many great people as possible to the organisation who can relate to our customers and provide them with great levels of service?” 

We have a strong commitment to instil the principles of accessibility and inclusion throughout our business operations, which is supported by our senior management team.

Ultimately, we aim to create an organisation that can benefit from a collection of different voices and lived experiences. 

“Our goal is to have people around the table who can look at the challenges facing the industry, by our customers and by the community, and who can come at those challenges with different perspectives to produce amazing outcomes,” Edyta says. 

The International Day of People with Disability is celebrated every year on 3 December. This year, Allianz intends to mark the day by launching a series of guides to help people understand and better manage workplace accessibility. To keep the message alive, we’ll be holding a number of ‘lunch and learns’ throughout 2023 that will promote the importance of accessibility and creating inclusive workplaces.

To find out more about our commitment to creating inclusive environments for people with a disability, check out our Accessibility Inclusion Plan 2020 ( (PDF, 2MB).

Australian Government Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 'People with disability in Australia' (5 July 2022)

Australian Network on Disability, 'Disability Statistics' (Last accessed 22 November 2022)

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

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