ASIC is committed to workplace diversity and fostering an inclusive environment where all our people, our stakeholders and our communities are treated with fairness and respect.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a key pillar of our culture and values and influences all aspects of the way we work. This year, we:
- launched a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
- maintained a gender-balanced leadership team at the Senior Executive Service (SES) level, with women comprising 54% of senior executives
- increased our Indigenous workforce to 1.44%, up from 1.35% last year
- appointed sponsoring Commissioners for each diversity committee.
Women in ASIC
ASIC supports women in leadership and senior positions. We continued to meet our voluntary target of 50% women in senior positions in 2019–20, including our goal for equal representation in Executive Level 1 (55%), Executive Level 2 (49%) and SES (54%) positions.
The Women in ASIC Committee delivers:
- Keeping You Connected events for ASIC team members on extended leave, including parents. We invite those on extended leave to come into the office to reconnect with each other and keep updated on ASIC initiatives
- quarterly Communities of Practice events to discuss topics related to women in leadership and workforce participation
- ASIC’s annual Women in Leadership award.
Equitable gender briefing
The Legal Services Directions 2017 require Commonwealth entities to use all reasonable endeavours to select female barristers with relevant seniority, expertise and experience in the relevant practice area. This aims to increase briefing rates so that senior female barristers account for at least 25% of all briefs, or 25% of the value of all brief fees paid to senior barristers, and junior female barristers account for at least 30% of all briefs, or 30% of the value of all brief fees paid to junior barristers.
In 2019–20, ASIC exceeded the 30% target for briefing junior female barristers, achieving 49% on the value of briefs and 48% on the number of briefs. However, ASIC fell slightly short of the 25% target for the number (24%) or value (22%) of briefs for senior female barristers. ASIC intends to take further proactive steps to ensure that senior women barristers are equitably briefed alongside their male counterparts.
Our LGBTIQ+ Network continues to raise awareness about LGBTIQ+ issues in the workplace and provide support to ASIC team members.
ASIC continues to participate in the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index, which measures LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion, and we collaborate with our peer regulators through the Rainbow Regulators Network.
This year, our Rainbow Network celebrated Wear it Purple Day, Fair Day, and International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.
Reconciliation Action Plan
ASIC continues to meet the measurable targets contained in our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2017–20, with a focus on embedding this work within our organisation to ensure equitable outcomes and opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
This includes continuing to:
- engage and foster relationships with Indigenous businesses through procurement
- focus on recruitment, retention and development of our Indigenous workforce by employing a dedicated Indigenous and Inclusion Specialist
- support Indigenous consumers’ financial wellbeing through the work of the Indigenous Outreach Program.
ASIC’s RAP Committees have also expanded the depth and breadth of the opportunities available for all team members to gain a stronger understanding of Indigenous cultures, and to engage in the reconciliation journey through events and initiatives focused on participation and knowledge sharing.
These initiatives include:
- workplace screenings of Indigenous documentaries, with opportunities to discuss learning with film producers
- showcasing Indigenous culture and knowledge through performances of dance, language and song, including to acknowledge the 12th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations
- commissioning Noongar artist Peter Farmer to produce a bespoke artwork as a visual representation of ASIC’s commitment to reconciliation, with reproductions installed in each ASIC office.
Indigenous employment initiatives at ASIC
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment is a key objective of ASIC’s RAP. Our employment initiatives include:
- participation in the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program
- participation in the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program
- supporting team members to take part in the Jawun secondment program.
This year, we launched Career Conversations with the Indigenous Staff Network Group to support our Indigenous team members reach their full potential through structured development planning.
Multicultural access and equity
ASIC’s Multicultural Committee is developing a new Multicultural Action Plan, which will focus on the culturally and linguistically diverse communities that access ASIC’s services and strengthen ASIC’s capacity as a culturally competent organisation.
This year, the Multicultural Committee hosted an event at which Professor Munjed Al Muderis shared his remarkable story of being a young surgical resident working in Baghdad to becoming one of the world’s leading osseointegration surgeons, transforming the lives of amputees.
An accessible and inclusive workplace is a priority for ASIC.
ASIC’s websites are designed to be read by screen readers, transcripts and captions are available for all video files, and a text equivalent is available for all images. The Digital Assistance team in ASIC’s Contact Centre supports customers who require additional assistance with online transactions.
Our Accessibility Committee aims to provide a workplace and services that all Australians can access without exclusion.
This year, the committee launched a new Accessibility Action Plan that details how we will address barriers that may prevent people with disability from participating fully at ASIC.
The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 is Australia’s overarching framework for disability reform. It acts to ensure that the principles underpinning the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are incorporated into Australia’s policies and programs that affect people with disability, their families and carers.
All levels of government will continue to be held accountable for the implementation of the strategy through biennial progress reporting to the Council of Australian Governments. Progress reports can be found at www.dss.gov.au.
Disability reporting is included in the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au.