An interview with Christie-Lee Malek (She/Her), Executive Assistant & Australia Arcus Co-lead
What is your role within Arcus?
I am the Co-lead of Arcus Australia.
When did the Arcus Australia Network first begin?
In 2018, myself and Arcus Co-Lead Nathan Eastwood founded the Arcus Australia Network. After working at Clifford Chance for six years at this time, and with little to no presence of Arcus in Australia or promotion and celebration of LGBTQIA+ days of significance, I approached our HR manager to be more involved with the global Arcus presence. Since then, Nathan and I have been collaborating across our Australian offices to ensure that Clifford Chance is a safe and inclusive space for those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
What has Arcus achieved so far?
Over the last few years, Arcus Australia has participated in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). AWEI is the definitive national benchmark on LGBTQIA+ workplace inclusion and comprises the largest and only national employee survey designed to gauge the overall impact of inclusion initiatives on organizational culture for identifying and non-identifying employees. To participate in the AWEI, Arcus Australia responded to very specific questions in relation to areas that directly impact LGBTQIA+ inclusion and displayed evidence of this in the workplace. The AWEI scores are ranked into tiers and in our first year of participation in 2019, Clifford Chance gained Silver status. Over the last 12 months we have been working tirelessly to ensure that we achieve Gold status and on 11 June 2020 we did! Gold status is the highest category for LGBTQIA+ workplace inclusion and diversity awarded to the top 5% of Australian employers! This achievement was incredible recognition for the Australian Arcus network.
What is your proudest moment as an Arcus member?
On 8 October 2020, I had the opportunity to organize and moderate a panel of diverse Lesbian women for International Lesbian Day in partnership with Pride in Diversity's Sapphire Network who is a not-for-profit organization who assist Australian employers with the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ employees. International Lesbian Day commemorates Lesbian culture, history, visibility and champions women. The event was held virtually and attended by over 110 people including our panellists diversity networks which included the Amazon Glamazon Network, the BHP Billiton Jasper Network and Pride In Diversity members as well as attended onsite by Arcus Sydney Allies. This provided me with the chance to increase the visibility of Lesbian women within Clifford Chance and partner with other LGBTQIA+ networks to promote the importance of the day. I have never felt so proud to be part of Arcus as it is these opportunities that assist with raising awareness for queer women in the workplace.