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Diversity and Inclusion

Workforce Overview

SBS actively recruits and employs people from diverse backgrounds. Employees are invited to provide diversity-related statistical information upon commencement of employment.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

SBS believes in developing a diverse workforce and this is reflected in its recruitment processes, leadership development, culture programs and employee engagement surveys.

These processes ensure that appropriate action is taken to eliminate discrimination against, and promote equal opportunity for, women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, individuals from non-English speaking backgrounds, and people who have a permanent disability, in relation to employment matters in accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987.

As at 30 June 2019, 41.5 per cent of employees are from a non-English speaking background and 36 per cent were born overseas.

The SBS Executive Team, including the Managing Director, is 45 per cent female and 55 per cent male. The Senior Leadership Group3 has a total of 99 members, with 60 per cent female and 40 per cent male representation.

In addition, 52 per cent of employees are female, with 51 per cent of SBS people leaders4 being female. A further 3.4 per cent of staff identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and 1.39 per cent of employees identify as having a permanent disability.

Number of employees1

Percentage of Total Workforce*



Language Spoken at Home




Language other than English



Not Stated






Place of Birth







Not Stated
















Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander



Permanent Disability



* Represents employees who voluntarily disclosed information.

1. Number of employees figure is the total number of employee headcount not FTE, Casuals included in the above figures only where paid at any point during the four pay cycles prior to June 30 2016.

2. Casuals not included in this figure in line with SBS’s RAP reporting

3. Senior Leadership Group is defined as the Executive team & their direct reports.

4. People Leaders defined as an SBS employee who has direct reports.

SBS Inclusion Strategy

SBS launched its Inclusion Strategy in July 2018, with a focus on providing employment programs, policies and practices that establish SBS as one of the most inclusive employers in the media industry.

In 2018-2019, a new, and more inclusive, parental leave policy was implemented to offer equal access to paid and unpaid parental leave irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or family makeup. A new partnership with online platform Grace Papers provides support to parents prior to, during, and post parental leave, to help employees balance career and carer responsibilities.

SBS’s new Gender Affirmation Policy was launched in December 2018 and aims to support employees undertaking a gender transition process and includes five additional days of paid leave to assist with physical and mental services throughout the process.

SBS established an internship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in conjunction with program partner, Career Trackers, and welcomed two interns during the summer of 2018-19.

Working with the Australian Network on Disability has assisted SBS in building a comprehensive Disability Action Plan that aims to improve access to employment opportunities and increase representation of people with disabilities in the workplace. SBS recognises the stigma attached to disabilities within the workplace and aims to foster a more open, supportive workplace culture for individuals with disabilities, through three focus areas:

  • Increase the number of people with a disability working at SBS
  • Educate SBS team members and managers to create a more inclusive culture for individuals with a disability working at SBS
  • Increase overall levels of psychological safety to enable more employees to self-identify as having a disability

Alongside these initiatives, SBS has established Employee Action Groups including SBS Pride and Allies focused on LGBTIQ+ inclusion, The Network which addresses gender equity, and SBS Access which considers the experiences of employees with disabilities. Recently launched, the CALD and Faith Network brings together culturally and linguistically diverse SBS team members of all religions.


In 2018, SBS launched its Inclusion Strategy through a public awareness campaign to communicate the importance, and benefits, of an inclusive workplace. The campaign featured an online video called ‘The Real You Matters’ which was widely praised for its use of humour to address real issues. The video was viewed more than a million times worldwide and the campaign was awarded Best Business Campaign at the NSW Premier’s Multicultural awards.

Code of Conduct

SBS’s Code of Conduct (“the Code”) sets the expectations for employee and contractor behaviour at SBS, and outlines guidelines for interaction with colleagues and the broader community. All employees are provided with the Code of Conduct upon induction and can find the Codes on the SBS intranet. The Code is supported by detailed policies, procedures and protocols which SBS reviews and updates as required. All SBS employees are required to undertake a biannual attestation and online training regarding the Code of Conduct, which includes areas regarding ethics, conflict of interest, bullying and harassment.

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act)

SBS is committed to fostering a positive safety culture and to ensuring the health and safety of all employees, contractors, and members of the public who may be affected by its work.

As part of SBS’s proactive approach to the safety governance framework, SBS conducted its annual WHS Audit Program from July 2018 across key divisions. This audit indicated that divisions were effectively implementing SBS’s Safety Management System, with division-specific WHS Improvement Plans developed to support ongoing monitoring and improvement.

An independent review undertaken in 2018-19 identified efficiencies in assessing and escalating risks associated with high-risk assignment work. Divisional engagement enabled SBS to update risk assessment tools and reporting, and a dedicated Intranet section was created with resources that provide guidance on key WHS risks, accessible to all employees. This focus will continue throughout 2019, supported by updated training in the conduct of WHS Risk Assessments.

The Workplace Health, Safety & Wellbeing Policy was updated in 2019 to reflect SBS’s commitment to eliminating or minimising risks to health and safety. Ergonomic review programs have been established to proactively identify and address hazards associated with agile workspaces.

In 2018-19 there were zero notifiable incidents to the regulator and zero investigations carried out by Comcare. Injury and illness reporting numbers remain consistent, with the business continuing to encourage proactive reporting.

The SBS early intervention program continues to deliver outstanding results with a substantial reduction in work-related claims costs. SBS estimates that it saves $26 in premiums for every $1 spent on early intervention to support staff experiencing physical or psychological challenges at work. Comcare’s average premium rate is 0.85 compared with the SBS rate of 0.22.

SBS also offers a range of health and wellbeing initiatives to employees, including subsidised gym memberships, discounted health insurance, flu vaccinations and skin checks, as well as mindfulness and nutrition programs. SBS employees can participate in a range of charitable events throughout the year including R U OK? Day for mental health awareness, Steptember which raises funds for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the Red Cross ‘Red 25’ blood donation program.

In early 2019, SBS undertook a review of its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and sought proposals from the market to identify a provider able to deliver services to meet SBS’s diverse workforce needs, both in Australia and overseas. As a result, SBS transitioned to its new EAP provider, Converge International, from 1 June 2019.