Finance has progressed our diversity and inclusion agenda during 2017–18 with the implementation of our comprehensive diversity strategy, DIVERSITY@FINANCE. The strategy is supported by an action plan, with a focus on the following diversity groups: gender equality; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment; disability employment; culturally and linguistically diverse employment; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) inclusion; and managing an intergenerational workforce. The strategy sets out how we will implement Australian Government strategies, including the APS Gender Equality Strategy 2016–19, the APS Disability Employment Strategy 2016–19 and the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy.
A key factor in the success of our diversity initiatives is our four diversity networks—the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network, the Ability Network, the Gender Equity Network and the LGBTI+ Network. These networks are each supported by a Senior Executive Service (SES) sponsor and have the endorsement and backing of all senior leaders, including the Secretary and the Diversity Champion. The networks have played an important role in educating Finance staff and promoting the value of a diverse workforce through a range of events and activities during 2017–18.
The following initiatives supported improved diversity outcomes in 2017–18:
- events to raise awareness of diversity, for example, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week, International Day of People with Disability, International Women’s Day and Harmony Day
- drawing on the expertise offered through memberships with the Australian Network on Disability, the Diversity Council of Australia and Pride in Diversity to develop and refine the department’s approach to diversity and inclusion
- commencement of our first Indigenous Liaison Officer to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and managers
- implementing a flexible working arrangements policy, to encourage an increased uptake of arrangements by female and male employees
- establishment of the Ability Network, which is committed to recognising, supporting and improving opportunities for people with disability and their carers.
Finance has also taken up opportunities during 2017–18 to collaborate with other entities on a range of APS-wide initiatives and will continue this involvement over the next year. Examples include retention and advancement initiatives under the Indigenous employment programs led by the Australian Public Service Commission, and interagency working groups arising from Finance’s involvement in the Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council, the Disability Champions Network and the Indigenous Champions Network.