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Gender affirmation policy for Stantec employees

Employees in Australia and New Zealand can take leave to support gender transition


Stantec Australia and New Zealand offer their employees gender affirmation leave so staff who are medically affirming their gender can take paid time off work. The leave is distinct from other types of special leave and gives extra support alongside sick leave so a transitioning employee can take the time they need, and can recover after surgery. It means employees are provided with a safe and supportive work environment and includes assistance to change their name and associated personal information.

The policy shows the Company's commitment to creating a workplace which is inclusive and celebrates and embraces diversity, sends an important message to the community and the people it serves, and demonstrates another important step towards equality for Stantec's LGBTQIA+ staff.

'We recognise in tangible form the trans experience at work and acknowledge that, since only trans and gender-diverse people require leave to affirm their gender identity, they should be paid while doing so as a matter of equity,' says David McDonald, Senior Project Manager/Project Management Team Lead and a member of both Stantec's Asia Pacific Inclusion & Diversity Council and Global Pride Committee. 'We're trying to create an environment where trans employees feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work.'

Given the difficulties of re-entering the job market following gender affirmation, this policy can help alleviate some of the practical barriers to affirming one’s gender identity, and offers financial security.

New Zealand Country Leader Ralph Fouché and Country Leader for Australia Ashok Sukumaran believe businesses must replicate the diversity of its communities if they want to meet client needs.  

'Providing leave from work for gender affirmation cements our culture of providing a workplace that is inclusive, embraces diversity and reflects society,' says Ralph.

Ashok thinks Stantec employees expect to be treated equally and with dignity. 'It’s no surprise that providing gender affirmation leave means our people feel valued for bringing their real selves to work,' he says.

The policy is backed up by international research. Rainbow Tick is a New Zealand not-for-profit offering a certification process to test whether a business understands and welcomes sexual and gender diversity, and its website says that international research has proven that inclusive and diverse workplaces are more likely to attract high quality applicants, retain staff, boost productivity and strengthen brand. Respected employees are more efficient, more productive, and more loyal to their employers.

Stantec in Australia and New Zealand offer employees with at least 12 months' tenure who are medically affirming their gender one week of fully paid leave or two weeks at half pay.

About Stantec

Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN. Visit us at or find us on social media.

Media Contact
Paul Bromiley
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: +61 429 529 174       

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