Department of Human Services

DHS Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020–2023

A workplace where we can all thrive

Acknowledgement to Traditional Owners

The Department of Human Services acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and recognises Aboriginal people as traditional owners and occupants of lands and waters in South Australia.

We acknowledge that the spiritual, social, cultural and economic practices of Aboriginal people come from their traditional lands and waters, and that the cultural and heritage beliefs, languages and laws are still of importance today.

We are committed to ensuring that the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people are incorporated in the design, development, monitoring and evaluation of deliverable actions.

Message from the Chief Executive

At DHS, diversity, inclusion and equity remains a high priority. We believe that all people have the right to:

  • be valued and treated with dignity and respect
  • equitable access to employment opportunities and outcomes
  • participate in all aspects of work life
  • the freedom to contribute and influence different perspectives and ideas
  • work to their full potential.

These principles underpin our ongoing commitment to create a diverse and inclusive culture that drives performance, innovation and productivity. Our success depends upon our ability to recognise and draw strength from the diversity of our workforce, allowing us to become an even stronger organisation that quickly and effectively responds to the needs of the South Australian community and fosters a high performing public sector. Our success will also be driven by ensuring that the voices of Aboriginal people are always included and privileged in the work that we do.

Creating an environment that values everyone’s contributions and talents leads to benefits such as greater happiness and engagement in work, increased job satisfaction, better decision making, and higher retention of our talented staff. As a department we are dedicated to working with our staff and community to identify ongoing ways to create a supportive and inclusive workplace for all DHS employees. We have a proud history of supporting and embracing our differences and we all have a role to play to ensure our culture and daily actions promote a fair, equitable and supportive work setting for all.

I ask all employees to actively look for opportunities to practice inclusive leadership and practices, and ensure multiple perspectives are considered in the design and delivery of policy, programs and services to best represent South Australians.

Endorsed by the Executive Leadership Team, I am delighted to present the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020–2023.

Lois Boswell

Chief Executive

Department of Human Services

What do we mean by workplace diversity and inclusion?

Diversity

Diversity can take many forms and describes the unique traits and characteristics that make us different from one another. Workplace diversity acknowledges individual differences and the unique skills, perspectives and experiences all employees bring because of differences in gender, age, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, language, disability, sexual orientation, and identity and life experiences.

Inclusion

Inclusion is about every member of our workforce recognising, valuing and respecting our differences and reflecting this in the way we work and treat each other. Inclusion occurs when people feel connected, engaged and can contribute to success, regardless of their personal characteristics or circumstance. An inclusive workplace culture removes barriers to ensure all employees can participate fully and where they:

  • have a sense of belonging
  • feel connected to and accepted by their co-workers
  • can fulfil their individual and combined potential
  • have equal access to opportunities and resources to develop their career
  • can contribute their perspectives and talents to improve DHS
  • feel safe to freely talk about physical and mental health challenges.

Intersectionality

Intersectionality refers to the way that multiple aspects of diversity, like age, sexual orientation, care-giving responsibilities, disability status and gender identity, come together or ‘intersect’ and form part of our identity — and, therefore, our experience of inclusion at work[1].

This overlap or combination of differences makes up a person’s unique identity. Identities within an individual may come, go or converge, depending on the time or place (for example life stages). The point of understanding intersectionality is to acknowledge the variety of privileges and/or forms of discrimination or exclusion that one may experience simultaneously at any given time.

Cultural competence

Is the ability to understand, communicate with and interact with people from different backgrounds in respectful ways. This is achieved by developing positive attitudes towards differences, gaining knowledge and understanding about diversity, and appreciating and managing these differences to harness and add value.


Note 1: Diversity Council Australia definition

Equality

Equality is about treating people the same to achieve fair outcomes. Whilst well-intentioned, treating people the same without considering their differing identities or experiences of privilege, will continue to preserve the status quo.

Equity

Equity is about recognising that people have different needs based on their differing, intersecting identities and experiences of privilege. Equity is about seeking to meet these needs, so that everyone experiences just and fair outcomes and participates fully in the workplace.

Justice

Justice asks us to reflect on our continued participation in systems that exclude and marginalise populations in the first place.

Benefits of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Our people are at the core of our business and are our most important asset, without whom we are unable to deliver on our strategic goals. Diversity and inclusion is about every member of our workforce bringing their unique perspective to the department, and being heard and valued by colleagues and leaders alike.

Embedding workplace diversity into everyday practice involves recognising the value of individual differences in people and positively embracing, harnessing and supporting these characteristics to achieve organisational and individual benefit.

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Individuals

Teams

DHS

An equitable, respectful and supportive work environment.

Appreciation for different ways of thinking, gathering and analysing data and evidence, and problem-solving.

Reflecting the broader community in our workplace will help us better understand and serve the needs of South Australians.

Abilities, talents and skills recognised for individuals.

Greater understanding and connection to our customers, clients and community.

Better positioned to attract top quality employees from a broad talent pool.

Opportunities to connect and engage with team members.

Improved scope for innovation, collaboration and creativity.

Interacting with our stakeholders in a culturally responsive manner.

Flexibility to balance work, family and personal responsibilities.

Productivity increases and capacity to plan for the future.

Builds a strong positive culture of support, belonging, meaningful engagement and wellbeing.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Journey – a New Strategy

In 2017, DHS launched our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2017–2020. This was the first of its kind in the South Australian public sector and set out practical actions to deliver positive change in how we would grow diversity and inclusion across our department.

We are proud of what we have achieved so far. We have delivered innovative programs, services and initiatives that have allowed us to work better together and build a more inclusive workplace. We have increased awareness and knowledge within the department of the value of inclusion and diversity, leading to positive employment experiences for staff. This is supported by our departmental results from the 2018 I Work for SA – Your Voice survey which saw 72% of respondents agree that DHS is committed to creating a diverse workforce, a score 7% higher than the public sector overall. 70% of people also agreed that personal background, i.e. cultural background, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender is not a barrier to success, which was also higher than the overall public sector.

We can always do better, however, and in the same survey it was noted that in terms of recruitment and development opportunities, 34% of employees indicated they are satisfied with the opportunities available for career development, with 32% suggesting there is room to improve when it comes to fair recruitment and promotional opportunities within the department.

In June 2020, 500 employees shared their thoughts on flexible work since COVID-19. At the time, 64% were working from home, 75% enjoyed the increased flexibility during our response to COVID-19, and 51% felt more productive as a result. Two-thirds of staff indicated they wanted to continue to work flexibly, and as a result, the department continues to implement measures to support a more flexible approach to working arrangements.

Over the past three years, our diversity and inclusion journey has focused on how we can better resource, develop and lead an inclusive workplace culture. We acknowledge that diversity comes with unique elements and complexities for each individual, and that these do not happen in isolation to each other. As we continue to grow as a department, we must look at the intersectionality of diversity and take a holistic view to ensure that we continue to work towards a workforce that is genuinely inclusive.

Achievements

Teamgage

  • Launched Teamgage, an online engagement tool to support opportunities for ongoing feedback between employees and managers.

Grow knowledge

  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion space on the DHS Intranet.
  • Continuing to grow our knowledge and capability on diversity and inclusive practices:
    • Mandatory training programs for all employees including Aboriginal Cultural Sensitivity and Respect, Aboriginal Cultural Awareness, LGBTIQ – Inclusive Communities Benefit Everyone, Disability Awareness and Inclusion, Understanding Men’s Violence Against Women.
    • Online training courses available on respectful treatment at work, unconscious bias, inclusive selection and recruitment practices, Diverse SA, Say No to Racism, and domestic and family violence.
    • Leadership and Management Capability matrices and assessment tools that recognise diversity and inclusion as a key competency for leaders.

Gold accreditation

Achieved gold accreditation status for Mental Health workplace and continue to offer Mental Health First Aid training.

Cultural Initiatives

  • Revitalised the DHS Aboriginal Leadership Group.
  • Cultural signage throughout Riverside Building.
  • an agreement between DHS and Narungga Nations Aboriginal Corporation to support young Narungga men and women who are touching the youth justice system to return back to Country to attend the Buthera Camp at Point Pearce.
  • Youth Justice Journey Lab – provides insight and knowledge to bring together communities and DHS staff to unpack how multiple systems across government interface with Aboriginal young people and their families.

Graduates and trainees

Between 2017 and 2020, we have employed 36 graduates and 17 trainees, of whom 11 are Aboriginal people.

Flexible work

Investment in tools, technology and infrastructure to support flexible work and enable greater virtual collaboration.

Events

Acknowledged, celebrated and participated in events and days of significance including:

  • NAIDOC Week
  • Reconciliation Week
  • Harmony Day
  • Refugee Week
  • R U OK Day?
  • International Day of People with Disability
  • Wear it Purple Day
  • Pride March
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) Day
  • International Women’s Day
  • International Men’s Day
  • White Ribbon Day
  • National Carer’s Week.

Where are we now?

When we compare our profile to 30 March 2017, we have a greater representation of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, plus increased Aboriginal people and female executives. We continue to see most employees aged between 30 and 54, with the proportion of male employees slightly increasing. We have seen a small decrease in the percentage of people with disability working within the department.

Employees in DHS*

  • 59 per cent of DHS employees are female with 17 per cent working part-time
  • 41 per cent are male with 8 per cent working part-time
  • 70 per cent of DHS executives are female
  • 4.13 per cent of employees identify as having disability
  • 3.13 per cent of employees are Aboriginal people
  • 44 per cent of employees were born overseas
  • 34 per cent of employees speak a language other than English at home.

Age of employees

  • Employees aged under 30 make up 7 per cent of the DHS workforce
  • Employees aged 30 to 54 make up 64 per cent of the DHS workforce
  • Employees aged 55 and over make up 29 per cent of the DHS workforce

*Data extracted from the Workforce Reporting Tool as of 4 October 2020, headcount 3,097

Our Commitment to Action

What do we want to achieve?

Our department holds the lead responsibility for the South Australian Government’s provision of services in the areas of disability, youth justice, domestic violence, screening services, concessions, community organisation grants, and early intervention support for the wellbeing of children. We have lead policy responsibility for women, volunteers and youth.

Given the variety and breadth of our service delivery, funding and policy obligations, it is critical that our workforce reflects the community we serve.

We want to be an inclusive workforce where diversity is part of everyday business, and modelled and promoted in the ways we attract, develop and sustain a skilled diverse workforce.

To become an employer that recognises our workforce as a source of strength because of its diversity, we will continue to work towards:

  • continuing to elevate our reputation and public image as a diverse and inclusive workplace
  • understanding and addressing any structural barriers (real or perceived) to employment and potential employees, due to personal circumstances or characteristics
  • improving representation of people from diverse backgrounds in senior leadership positions
  • ensuring Teamgage and cultural surveys consistently show safety, visibility and inclusion for all employees across all levels
  • mainstreaming diversity practices in our business and operational plans
  • identifying barriers and key cultural issues for each diversity area, and how these may intersect and impact building an inclusive workplace
  • analysing and maturing our workforce intelligence reporting to drive conversations, progress and self-reflection
  • implementing strategies to support and encourage employees in disclosing personal diversity data so we can develop, improve and further drive diversity-related strategies and initiatives
  • setting measurable targets and ensuring accountability for meeting our goals.

The strategy is the second of its kind for the department. It is a living document and provides an overarching framework for the department to align the work we are doing and to empower all staff to ensure that diversity and inclusion is embedded in all we do and owned by everyone. It is, therefore, designed to be reviewed and amended to suit the needs of our people over time.

DHS has developed a number of individual action plans housed within this strategy. These existing strategies and plans have been developed independently under separate policy or legislative requirements and outline some of the key actions already underway.

Diversity and inclusion principles

The following principles guide our action plan to achieve our diversity and inclusion goals.

  • Recruit – We reflect the diversity of the community we serve
  • Include – We foster a culture of belonging that embeds access, inclusion and equal opportunity in all that we do
  • Develop – We provide opportunity for every employee to reach their potential
  • Lead – We prioritise diversity through inclusive leadership.

The strategy is underpinned by

DHS strategies

  • Aboriginal Employment Strategy / Aboriginal Recruitment Guide
  • People Development Strategy
  • Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy “Your Mental Health Matters"
  • Wellbeing and Safety Strategy 2019–2023

DHS action plans

Responsibilities and governance

Leadership is required at all levels of DHS to keep on track and execute the strategy effectively. To do this we will:

  • provide an environment for all staff to initiate local inclusive practices and actions
  • hold leaders accountable for delivery of outcomes
  • participate in the Public Sector Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Community of Practice to share learnings and create connections
  • implement the DHS Diversity and Inclusion Reference group to meet and report back progress to ELT and staff
  • establish a governance model to drive the strategy.

Executive sponsors and champions will be appointed by ELT for all key priority areas. Sponsors and champions will promote and support our diversity and inclusion efforts and initiatives, provide strategic direction and have oversight on DHS’s overall performance.

Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group will have representatives from across the department as well as other diversity working groups to focus on intersectionality and investigating ways to improve structural barriers that may impact our progress. They will provide succinct bi-annual performance reports and updates on diversity dashboard data outlining progress and recommendations. This information will be made available for staff on the intranet.

DHS working groups and committees will be encouraged to work with executive sponsors and Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group to identify and implement actions within the strategy. People Strategy and Systems will advise and assist divisions to implement initiatives from the strategy relevant to their respective work function, taking into consideration their context and challenges. Individuals are actively encouraged to engage with diversity and inclusion.

Our objectives

The strategy provides an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the real challenges and opportunities for people in a working environment that is not yet reflective of the communities we represent.

Six diversity focus streams have been identified as priority areas and are supported as a shared direction for the department’s overarching strategic work for 2020–2023.

We recognise that diversity is complex and acknowledge that current and future employees may identify across a number of diversity areas. We continue to work closely with individuals, groups and allies to assist with implementing specific actions, plans and initiatives, and finding ways to support people and their individual needs as we work towards building an inclusive workplace culture.

Building an inclusive workplace culture

Aboriginal people

We will continue to increase our representation of Aboriginal people in our workforce. We will work with Aboriginal communities to build a workplace that is inclusive and respectful of Aboriginal culture and build on initiatives to attract, retain and develop Aboriginal employees and provide real career pathways.

Age

We acknowledge the skills, experiences and perspectives that mixed generational workplaces offer. We support people’s employment aspirations regardless of where they fall on the age spectrum, aiming to provide development opportunities and flexible working arrangements to support people at all stages of their career.

Culturally and linguistically diverse

We will continue to increase the representation of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in our workforce, and showcase and embrace the skills, perspectives and experiences they bring. We will continue to partner with people from different backgrounds to find ways to provide culturally appropriate and improved services for the South Australian community.

Disability

We will continue to increase our representation of people with disability in our workplace, including in leadership positions, and improving capability and career development opportunities. We will continue to work towards eliminating or reducing barriers, which prevent full participation at work, and provide an accessible workplace that supports staff with disability to contribute fully.

Gender

We will continue to create a workplace that provides equal opportunity and advancement in employment regardless of gender. We are committed to providing workplace flexibility arrangements that support all employees to balance personal, family, and/or caring responsibilities while achieving their career goals. We acknowledge that gender balance across all work streams supports improved business decision-making, merit and performance.

Our focus also shows our commitment to helping employees and clients experiencing domestic and family violence by providing information, referrals, support and relevant leave.

LGBTIQ+

We will continue to create a workplace which is fair, safe and inclusive of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status and won’t discriminate based on relationship status. We support a workplace culture and environment where all employees can feel free to be themselves without fear of bias, labels or negative behaviour, and where the LGBTIQ+ community is visible and celebrated.

Embedding diversity and inclusion practices across DHS

We understand the need to take a holistic approach to cultivating a departmental culture that embraces a diverse workforce and removes barriers that prevent participation and advancement.

To do this, we need to consider what diversity and inclusion looks like across our employee life cycle and also within our community, and then adapt our practices accordingly.

As a department we need to acknowledge and build a better understanding of intersectionality and the impact of the experiences of people who identify with more than one diverse background.

While we have identified some focused strategies to try to address any equity imbalances, it is important to consider the compounding nature of intersectionality and what impact this may play, rather than trying to address each issue separately.

For these changes to become reality all staff must play a part. Normalising diversity and inclusion will open further opportunities for us to embed into our work practices and improve how we connect, collaborate and provide services for the people we support and the community.

This can only be done by working together, listening to the stories and experiences across the department and coming up with solutions to address any barriers identified.

The actions outlined below and within this Strategy are the overarching commitments we are making as a department to help us work towards achieving a fully inclusive and diverse workforce.

From here, additional actions will be identified in corresponding departmental strategies and action plans.

Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2020–2023

Recruit – We reflect the diversity of the community we serve

Action

Lead

Priority Areas

Review current recruitment, selection and onboarding processes to ensure they are inclusive and barrier-free. This includes the use of non-binary terms and more universal acknowledgement of LGBTIQ+ in role descriptions.

Organisational Development, hiring managers

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Undertake targeted approaches to recruitment, as well as the use of affirmative measures for mobility between divisions and agencies to encourage more diverse candidates.

Divisions hiring managers

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Ensure staff who will participate on recruitment panels complete the online recruitment and selection training programs to reduce unconscious bias.

Organisational Development, hiring managers

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Continue to recruit of trainees and graduates through the Skilling SA Public Sector Project, coordinated through the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.

Organisational Development

Age

Year on year improvement in Aboriginal employment and retention of staff.

Executive Leadership Team

Aboriginal People

Launch the Aboriginal Employment Strategy and Recruitment Guide and provide support to hiring managers.

Organisational Development

Aboriginal People

Year on year improvement in the employment and retention of people living with disability.

Executive Leadership Team

Disability

Embed the OCPSE Disability Employment Toolkit, ensuring it is reflected in our practices and policies.

Hiring managers

Disability

Review the Gender-Neutral Recruitment Guideline and expand to include other forms of diversity, focusing on inclusive practices including blind-recruitment to minimise unconscious bias. This will be linked in recruitment and selection training and frameworks within the department.

Office for Women

Gender

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Include – We foster a culture of belonging that embeds access, inclusion, and equal opportunity in all that we do

Action

Lead

Priority Areas

Embed flexible work arrangements for all staff in our ‘new normal’ way of work, and provide support and resources for managing a flexible workforce.

Executive Leadership Team, people managers, Communications and Engagement

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Investigate provision of technology and assets to support a modern and mobile workforce.

Business Improvement and Technology

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Promote diversity and inclusion employee surveys to inform future directions, focus areas, and identify strategies to improve outcomes.

Organisational Development

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Create a campaign to promote diversity awareness in the workplace that encourages employees to share and update personal diversity information. Provide a FAQ on diversity disclosure that informs employees how their information is used, assurances around confidentiality and privacy; and promotes a safe environment to self-disclose their identity.

Organisational Development, Communications and Engagement

Aboriginal People, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Review email signature templates that staff can use to show their own pledge or personal commitment to respecting diversity, for example, including personal pronouns.

Reference groups

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Ensure the department’s internal communication plan promotes the actions outlined in the strategy to drive a ‘one team’ culture. This includes promoting diversity stories,

events and information via DHS-wide communication channels and raising awareness of diversity and inclusion campaigns.

Communications and Engagement, reference groups

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Create avenues to share staff’s unique voices and their stories within DHS to celebrate successes and raise understanding of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Senior leaders, Communications and Engagement

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Recognise and celebrate employees who reflect, champion, and enliven their role through positive actions.

People managers

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Revise the profile and placement of diversity and inclusion content as part of any intranet update.

Communications and Engagement

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Coordinate the Nunga Network for Aboriginal employees in DHS.

Aboriginal Leadership Group

Aboriginal People

Promote wellbeing rooms for staff to use for cultural needs and purposes, and promote these through DHS news and the intranet.

Assets and Facilities

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Explore ways to engage with employees to seek feedback on how the department is supporting them culturally; identify areas of need and how these could be addressed.

Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group

Aboriginal People, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Investigate the viability and interest of employee-led networks for:

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse   employees
  • LGBTIQ+ employees
  • Employees living with disability

Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group

Culturally & Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment; LGBTIQ+

Ensure forms and systems enable all people to be recognised in accordance with the gender they identify, and that choice is provided with recording of titles.

Senior leaders

LGBTIQ+

Participate in the development of a cross-sector LGBTIQ+ allies program.

Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group

LGBTIQ+

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Develop – We provide opportunity for every employee to reach their potential

Action

Lead

Priority Areas

Enhance cultural competency for all staff by refreshing and developing a cultural competency training package to create greater awareness and opportunities.

Organisational Development

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Promote and increase completion of mandatory training programs to build competency around diversity and inclusive practices.

Organisational Development, people managers

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Develop resources and training focused on improving understanding of intersectionality, inclusive language and building inclusive leadership and workplaces.

Organisational Development

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Facilitate opportunities for staff to come together through ‘lunch and learn’ sessions and/ or leadership forums, where guests share their experiences, perspectives and learnings on various diversity and inclusion matters.

Organisational Development,

Communications and Engagement

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Provide tools and assessments to assist employees with career planning and identifying development opportunities.

Organisational Development

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Harness the expertise, experience and knowledge of our younger and mature aged employees via involvement in the mentoring program.

Organisational Development

Age

Support and promote the Aboriginal Leadership Group to lead consultation and development activities.

Executives and managers

Aboriginal People

Provide regular educational opportunities for staff to learn about culture and challenge existing biases.

Reconciliation Committee

Aboriginal People

Review and update the current Aboriginal Cultural Sensitivity Training program.

Organisational Development, Reconciliation Committee

Aboriginal People

Increase cultural understanding and capability of staff by promoting access to events, training and development opportunities.

People managers

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Promote domestic and family violence guidelines to managers and HR business partners.

Workplace Gender Equality and Respect Working Group

Gender Equality

Provide ‘Domestic and Family Violence: Responding to Staff disclosures’ training program for managers.

Workplace Gender Equality and Respect Working Group

Gender Equality

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Lead – We prioritise diversity through inclusive leadership

Action

Lead

Priority Areas

Identify an executive sponsor to champion diversity and inclusion in the department and lead the Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group. This group will meet quarterly and provide updates on progress and recommendations.

Executive Leadership Team

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Further embed the Teamgage tool across DHS to provide avenues for staff engagement, feedback and solutions for matters that impact their specific teams. Investigate the inclusion of a diversity metric.

Organisational Development, Executive Leadership Team, people managers

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Take a lead role in diversity and inclusion initiatives across the public sector and seek opportunities for employees to engage with other agencies on matters through cross-agency networks.

Senior leaders

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Support DHS working parties to drive diversity and inclusion related plans and deliver on the actions.

Diversity and Inclusion Reference Group

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Improve data collection and reporting through the Centre of Innovation to support effective decision making around diversity and inclusion and to inform the development of strategies and initiatives.

Business Improvement and Technology

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

All DHS policies, procedures and forms will be assessed and where applicable, updated to ensure they are inclusive for all. This includes reviewing the language used to ensure non-binary terms and reference is used.

Divisional owners

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Review and simplify our workplace adjustment procedures and guidelines.

Human Resources, Wellbeing and Safety

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Develop a Social Procurement Action Plan to increase social outcomes through procurement processes.

Procurement and Grants

Aboriginal People, Age, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Disability Employment, Gender Equality, LGBTIQ+

Develop and implement a new Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan.

Reconciliation Committee

Aboriginal People

Create a cultural style guide for the department.

Communications and Engagement

Aboriginal People

Implement the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan to increase access and inclusion opportunities for people with disability.

Disability, Access and Inclusion

Disability Employment

Achieve White Ribbon accreditation for DHS.

Workplace Gender Equality and Respect Working Group

Gender Equality

Implement the Workplace Gender Equality Action Plan.

Workplace Gender Equality and Respect Working Group

Gender Equality

Embed gender lens in WHS and risk management activities.

Workplace Gender Equality and Respect Working Group, Office for Women

Gender Equality

Work towards Rainbow Tick accreditation for DHS.

Community Services

LGBTIQ+

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Definitions

Every effort has been made to provide definitions which are reflective of our society at the time of publication, however we recognise that the language around diversity evolves overtime and will update accordingly.

Aboriginal people

For the purposes of this strategy, the term Aboriginal is used to refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within South Australia. This is not intended to exclude Torres Strait Islander people, or people who may identify as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.

Age

An age diverse workplace provides benefits in terms of the unique backgrounds and perspectives that each generation brings. For the purposes of data collection, this strategy refers to people aged under 30 years old as young professionals, and people aged 55 and over as mature aged employees.

Culturally and linguistically diverse

Cultural diversity means having a mix of people from different cultural backgrounds – it can include difference in cultural/ethnic identity (how we identify ourselves and how others identify us), language, country of birth, religion, heritage/ancestry, national origin, and/or race. We recognise that there is no single term that is used by culturally diverse people and that there are certain terms that different groups or individuals prefer or feel most comfortable with.

Disability

The social model of disability recognises that features of our society including natural and build environment, systems, attitudes, practices and structures are disabling and create barriers preventing people from being included and treated equally, and participating fully.

For the purpose of data collection, the department relies on employees self-identifying as having disability, as defined by the Disability Inclusion Act 2018. The term ‘living with disability’ includes long-term physical, psycho-social, intellectual, cognitive, neurological or sensory impairment, or a combination of any of these impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the person’s full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Gender

Gender is part of a person’s personal and social identity. It refers to the way a person feels, presents and is recognised within the community. A person’s gender may be reflected in outward social markers, including their name, outward appearance, mannerisms and dress. When we speak about gender in the context of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we are referring to the creation of a workplace where people of all genders can participate. Whilst addressing disparities that have emerged between men and women as a function of society and culture is important, we must seek to do so using an intersectional lens and in a way that acknowledges and embraces gender diversity.

LGBTIQ+

LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/ gender diverse, intersex and queer) refers to the diverse sex, sexual orientation and gender identities represented in the community. We recognise that there are many more terms that people identify with and LGBTIQ+ has been used in an effort to be as inclusive as possible.

Feedback

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GPO Box 292 Adelaide SA 5001

Email DHS.clientfeedbackandcomplaints@sa.gov.au

Download a copy of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (PDF 4.9 MB)

Page last updated : 18 Dec 2020

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