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Diversity and inclusion

ASIO has made significant progress towards increasing the diversity of its workforce and ensuring the workplace is inclusive. Guided by our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018–20, progress has been overseen by ASIO’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and supported by ASIO’s diversity champions and networks.

While COVID-19 restrictions affected some of the planned diversity and inclusion awareness-raising initiatives, the Organisation made significant progress during the year, including:

  • launching the ASIO Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) endorsed by Reconciliation Australia;
  • achieving silver accreditation in the Australian Workplace Equality Index— Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for gender and sexually diverse workplace inclusion—for the second consecutive year. As part of our submission, we demonstrated improvements in visibility, training and inclusive human resources policies to help ensure best practice as an employer of choice for gender-diverse and sexually diverse people. ASIO ranked fourth among participating federal government agencies;
  • improving gender balance in general entry-level programs; and
  • establishing a new staff-led network focused on parents.

ASIO’s progress can be seen in the results of an all-staff survey conducted in March 2020 where 90 per cent of staff reported diversity and inclusion was valued by the Organisation; an increase of 11 per cent from the previous survey. The staff survey also showed that most women reported high engagement and positive intentions to remain with ASIO. The survey confirmed support at all levels for the Organisation’s ‘if not, why not’ approach to flexible working.