Diversity and inclusion in public sector employment matter
There is growing consensus internationally that pursuing diversity and inclusion in public sector workforces can help achieve important outcomes in major policy areas, advance reform agendas and promote good governance practices.
Research shows that organisations which value diversity and inclusion achieve greater staff satisfaction, better customer service outcomes and improved decision making and performance.
This strategy and six supporting action plans have been developed with input from agencies of all shapes, sizes and contexts – and other stakeholder organisations and groups. Together, they set out a sector-wide approach to workforce diversification and inclusion.
The reality is that representation of diverse groups in our sector continues to be low compared to the wider community, particularly at senior levels.
The strategy sets aspirational targets that are challenging but crucial to articulate and aim towards, offering each agency in our sector the opportunity to become a leader in diversity and an inclusive employer where the qualities, contributions and perspectives of every individual are valued.
Collectively, through the strategy and action plans, we can make the sector a place where people from all walks of life are empowered to better serve the community.
Twin goals of the strategy
Increase the representation of people from different backgrounds at all levels across our sector (workforce diversification)
Ensure all staff in the sector experience a sense of belonging and inclusion in the work environment (workforce inclusion)
Facts on diversity in the public sector workforce
- Women have represented almost three quarters of the public sector workforce over the past seven years.
- Over the same period, progress has been made on the representation of women in the Senior Executive Service (SES) with a 11.9 percentage point rise to 42.5% in 2020.
- Young people aged 24 years and under have decreased in representation in the public sector workforce over the past seven years, with representation at 4.1% in 2020.
- Representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the public sector workforce has remained at 2.7% for the past five years.
- Representation of culturally and linguistically diverse people was on average 12.5% of the public sector workforce between 2014 and 2017, rising from 13.1% in 2018 to 13.9% in 2020.
- Representation of people with disability has trended down from 2014 to 2017 and has remained at 1.5% of the public sector workforce since 2018.
The strategy encompasses action plans for identified diversity groups as well as specific and aspirational targets for some of these groups to increase their representation in public sector employment.
The identified diversity groups are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- culturally and linguistically diverse people
- people with disability
- people of diverse sexualities and genders.
The strategy has been informed by data, research and broad consultation with agency leaders and staff as well as subject matter experts and stakeholders committed to diversity and inclusion.
Aspirational targets for diversity groups
With this strategy positioning the sector to lead, the targets for identified diversity groups are deliberately aspirational and transcend the five-year window to the end of 2025.
The targets have been set through benchmarking Australian and Western Australian workforce and population data, considering current public sector representation and projecting the progress required to achieve workforce diversification.
Workforce diversity targets will be reviewed in line with the data reforms and new Census data.
|Women in the SES||50.0%|
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people||3.7%|
|Culturally and linguistically diverse people||15.5%|
|People with disability||5.0%|