Allies and New Zealand-based members of the Rainbow Community of Practice. Click the image to read more.

Trans allyship is more important than ever, with 96% of trans and gender diverse young people experiencing abuse due to their identity. 

Most recently, communities and organisations around the world helped raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face during Transgender Awareness Week.

Someone for whom this week is an important opportunity to connect is Taylor Cougle, Solutions Assurance Manager, Co-Chair for Ventia’s Rainbow Community of Practice, and a proud transgender woman.

With a career spanning over 30 years across telecommunications, manufacturing and professional services, Taylor joined Ventia’s Telecommunications business in 2009 as a Systems Programmer.

Fast forward to today, and Taylor is playing a key role in our Rainbow Community of Practice, stepping into the co-chair role to help accelerate the progress made in 2023 with the achievement of the Rainbow Tick in New Zealand and our reaccreditation for 2024. 

The Rainbow Tick is a way for us to demonstrate that we are an inclusive workplace, and the process for accreditation helps us be confident we’re doing all we can to support our Rainbow team members.

Developing communities and providing support mechanisms to employees from all different walks of life is an important element of inclusive workplaces. 

“One of the most important things is finding people who are on the same journey as you are, it is about finding your tribe,” Taylor notes. “Reach 

out to them, be it at Ventia, your private networks or community groups. Not only will you find they usually become your greatest supporters, but you can also support others on their journey through your lived experience.”

Solutions Assurance Manager, Co-Chair for Ventia’s Rainbow Community of Practice, and a proud transgender woman, Taylor Cougle. Click the image to read more.

Building a network of allies at Ventia

It’s not only those with direct lived experience who are stepping up at Ventia, but those who are active allies.

The Rainbow Community of Practice (COP) is made up of employees who identify as a member of the LGBTQA+ community as well as those who want to help create safe, welcoming and inclusive workplaces across Ventia. 

Housekeeping coordinator Rebecca Cripps says she first became an ally when her eldest child came out to her as a trans male. 

My motivation behind joining the Rainbow Community of Practice is that I have seen firsthand his struggles and despair looking for support and acceptance with family members and the community at large

 “I am also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, being bisexual. The small team I am part of here in Tasmania are a welcoming and accepting group and I want that for all employees of Ventia and the community at large, Rebecca says. 

Rebecca is also a Healthy Minds Champion at Ventia, providing a listening ear and support to her colleagues when needed. 

Kitty O’Connor works as a bid manager in our largest sector and sees diversity as critical in a workplace. 

"Embracing diversity, advocating for equality, and nurturing inclusivity aren't just acts of solidarity—they're the cornerstones of a vibrant and thriving workplace,” Kitty says. “As an ally, I stand proud, for every step towards inclusivity is a leap towards a world where everyone belongs and is celebrated."

We are really proud to confirm the re-accreditation of our Rainbow Tick in New Zealand. Click the image to read more.

Senior leadership support is also key. Project Director Matt Scott says, "As a leader with a diverse team of employees and subcontractors, it's important for me to demonstrate strong allyship.” 


“It may be as simple as helping a transitioning employee through the logistics of email changes, PPE suitability and appropriate facilities at site. I am really proud of the work we're doing in this space."

On being an active Diversity Champion and advocate both inside and outside of work, Taylor says, “I love sharing my journey and am proud to 

inspire others to live freely and be the best versions of themselves – it is never too late to shine.”

More on Ventia’s position on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can be found here.