Finance progresses its diversity and inclusion agenda through a comprehensive diversity strategy, DIVERSITY @ FINANCE and associated Action Plan. The strategy and Action Plan set out specific actions in each focus area: gender equality, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, disability employment, cultural and linguistic diversity, LGBTI+ inclusion and managing an intergenerational workforce.
The DIVERSITY @ FINANCE strategy governs the way that Finance implements Australian Government strategies such as the APS Gender Equality Strategy 2016–2019, the APS Disability Employment Strategy 2016–2019 and the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy 2015–2018. Finance’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is also reflected in the Department’s corporate plan and transformation plan, both of which demonstrate the importance of diversity to achieving the Department’s priorities and departmental strategies.
In 2018–19, Finance supported several initiatives to improve the Department’s diversity outcomes, including:
- six staff networks that provided a forum for staff who identify with a particular focus area under Finance’s diversity strategy. Each network is championed by Senior Executive Service (SES) sponsors who provide strong leadership on diversity and inclusion. The networks played an important role in educating Finance staff and promoting the value of a diverse workforce through a range of events and activities during 2018–19 various events to raise awareness of diversity—for example, the Finance Network Market Day, NAIDOC Week activities, Harmony Day, Mental Health Week and International Women’s Day
- the promotion of flexible working as part of normal business through the Flexible Work Policy
- seconding an Aboriginal employee to an Indigenous organisation
- cultural awareness and diversity training as part of ongoing learning and development offerings to all staff. Training was delivered both online and through face-to-face forums
- increased participation in diversity-related entry-level programs (such as Indigenous development programs and trainee/internship programs for people with disability). The Department partnered with the ACT Down Syndrome Association to run a pilot program, which resulted in the employment of two members of the association for 12 weeks
- affirmative measures to address the under-representation of people with disability and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the APS.
Finance has continued to work and collaborate with other entities on a range of APS-wide initiatives, such as:
- retention and advancement initiatives under the Indigenous employment programs led by the Australian Public Service Commission
- disability recruitment and inter-agency working groups arising from Finance’s involvement in the Secretaries Equality and Diversity Council, the Disability Champions Network and the Indigenous Champions Network.