Allianz has won the prestigious Australian Human Rights Business Award in recognition of its commitment to supporting refugee employment and education through its ongoing partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI).
Awarded by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the Business Award recognises businesses that have made a practical and/or policy commitment to the promotion and advancement of human rights in the Australian community.
Allianz was recognised for its Sustainable Employment Program, which provides refugees and migrants with permanent employment opportunities and is a part of Allianz’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. Allianz also offers education scholarships for refugees.
Allianz Australia’s Managing Director, Niran Peiris, is personally committed to ensuring the success of the Sustainable Employment Program.
“Australia’s refugees are far from a homogenous group; they come from enormously diverse backgrounds and bring with them a wealth of skills and life experiences,” Niran said.
“However there are often barriers that many highly skilled refugees face when trying to seek suitable employment, including language and cultural differences, a lack of recognition by employers for their experience and education, and quite often unconscious bias,” he said.
“Our partnership with Settlement Services International helps skilled refugees overcome some of those barriers by providing meaningful employment opportunities aligned to their skills sets which enables them to develop a pathway to their financial independence,” he said.
Since it was launched, the program has provided 18 employment opportunities for participants with a range of diverse talents, cultural backgrounds and disciplines, including business, accounting and finance, data science, audit and customer service.
The SSI Allianz scholarships provide refugees financial support to further their education or seek recognition of the skills they developed in their home country, which assists in minimising the impact of the structural disadvantage that refugees often experience during the early settlement phase.
“It is an incredible accolade for us to win the Human Rights Commission Business Award and to be recognised for our work in driving a thriving, productive and inclusive workplace,” Mr Peiris said.
Accepting the award, Allianz’s Chief Risk Officer, Lori Callahan said that human rights started with real people.
“The Sustainable Employment Program isn’t about placing participants in a program. These people are our colleagues and friends, we know their backgrounds, their stories and their experience; and yes these are highly qualified individuals who have brought with them a wealth of experience and are valued members of our team at Allianz,” Lori said.
“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of such a life changing initiative that is not only good for business but the wider community we serve.”
“Being able to play a small role in helping our cadets rebuild lives for themselves and their families is an honour – to me this is something that really matters,” she said.
Last week Allianz Australia also won the highly coveted Cross Cultural Management Award at the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) Awards in recognition of its Sustainable Employment Program.
Allianz Media Team // firstname.lastname@example.org
13 December 2017