Diversity Strategy and Action Plan 2013-16

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Department of Agriculture Diversity Strategy and Action Plan 2013-16
This strategy complements and supports our People Strategy , our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and our Reconciliation Action Plan.

Objective

Priorities

Measures of Success

To foster a diverse workforce that encourages and engages in an inclusive workplace that is reflective of the Australian Community

  • Facilitate access to the department through employment opportunities for the following diversity groups
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
    • People and Disability
    • People from a non-English speaking background
  • Increase staff awareness and understanding of workplace diversity principles
  • Continue to implement procedures to eliminate harassment and inappropriate workplace behaviour
  • Provide a supportive work environment which identifies and addresses specific needs of diversity groups
  • Increased or maintained level of participation for identified diversity groups
  • Meet commitment of ≥ 3 per cent participation rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by 2015
  • Retention rates for diversity groups are equal to or higher than the APS and departmental averages
  • Increased or maintained engagement rates for diversity groups are equal to or higher than the APS rates measured by the annual Employee Census
  • Reduced level of claims of bullying and harassment due to discrimination

Diversity includes many naturally occurring aspects of difference within our working community; including disability, gender, age, caring responsibilities, language, religious beliefs, education, cultural background and ethnicity. Workplace diversity and inclusion is about respecting and valuing the unique blend of knowledge, skills and perspectives we all bring to the workplace.

Workplace diversity and inclusion is everybody’s responsibility and all employees are expected to:

  • behave in a way that upholds the APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct
  • understand that harassment or discrimination is unacceptable
  • listen actively and communicate in a culturally appropriate manner
  • seek, welcome and respond to feedback
  • do our job well and support our colleagues to do the same by recognising the different needs, knowledge and backgrounds of others
  • provide information in accessible formats
  • respect the caring responsibilities of colleagues
  • support the diversity priorities outlined in our Diversity Strategy and Action Plan.

Further information on code of conduct is available through the department’s online induction package and the Australian Public Service Induction Program.

The APS Environment

There are a number of external drivers of workplace diversity including the government’s priorities for diversity across the Australian Public Service. Key Australian Government initiatives include:

Our business

The Department of Agriculture provides advice and support to the Australian Government on agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry. The department is responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs that ensure Australia’s agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries remain competitive, profitable and sustainable. Departmental staff are policy makers, regulators and service providers in a complex on-shore and international operating environment. The department’s workforce of over 5000 people operates in airports, mail centres, shipping ports, laboratories, abattoirs and offices and is located around Australia and overseas.

Diversity is an important priority in our People Strategy and we are committed to supporting a culture where everyone is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and ensuring our workforce is representative of the Australian community we serve.

The Department of Agriculture supports diversity through our Diversity Strategy as well as our:

  • Portfolio Multicultural Plan which indentifies who our culturally and linguistically diverse stakeholders are and how we can improve their interactions with the department and portfolio agencies
  • Reconciliation Action Plan which aims to continue building and maintaining relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy that describes how we increase engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia, continue to build a supportive workplace and focus on strategies to retain our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employees.

This strategy focuses on attracting, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce as well as cultivating a supportive workplace environment that encourages and engages in diversity.
The action plan aims to:

  • design and implement employment programs to attract and maintain participation of diversity groups
  • raise awareness and understanding of workplace diversity principles
  • implement procedures to eliminate harassment and inappropriate workplace behaviour
  • provide a supportive work environment which identifies and addresses the needs of specific diversity groups.

Through previous diversity action plans the Department of Agriculture has implemented a number of diversity initiatives during 2012-13, including:

Diversity Priority 1:

Diversity Priority 2

  • implemented the Australia Day Diversity Award category as part of our Award and Recognition Guidelines
  • actively celebrated significant diversity events which included:
    • National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week
    • National Sorry Day / Reconciliation Week
    • International Day of People with a Disability
    • National Multicultural Festival
    • National Families Week
    • Carers Week
  • participated in the Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership

Diversity Priority 3

  • implemented APS Values and Code of Conduct eLearning package
  • provided a range disability related training programs
  • encouraged staff to complete the online Human Rights are in Our Hands eLearning package

Diversity Priority 4

  • introduced Disability and Culturally and Linguistically Diversity Ambassadors
  • promoted the importance of employees disclosing diversity details in Aurion.
  • increased diversity employee network attendance

The revised action plan lists diversity priorities for the department during 2013-14 that continue to support a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Measuring success

The department will monitor milestones and success indicators and report annually to the People Committee.

Diversity Strategy Action Plan 2013-14

Diversity Priority 1 - Facilitate access to the department through employment opportunities to attract and retain the participation of diversity groups.

 

Output

Action

Lead Area

When

Success Indicators

1.1

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and Action Plan

  • Implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and Action Plan.

People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy implemented.
  • Increased number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents state that they enjoy the work in their current job measured by the annual APS Employee Census 2013-14.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce participation rate of 3 per cent by 2015.

1.2

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander video

  • Develop a video of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to raise awareness internally and promote the department externally.

People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary)

May 2014

  • Video developed and made available on mylink and external departmental website.

1.3

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

  • Ensure departmental web content is WCAG 2.0 AA compliant and accessible for people with disabilities.

Strategy, Architecture and Strategic Projects (Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • 10 of the 14 departmental websites are WCAG 2.0 level AA compliant.
  • Core and java applications are compliant.
  • Websites and applications that do not comply have approval and justification for non-compliance.
  • Web accessibility policy released and communicated.

1.4

Support Australian Disability Enterprises and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers

  • Promote the procurement of goods and services from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and disability suppliers (including Australian Disability Enterprises) in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs).
  • Promote the use of exemptions 16 and 17 from Division 2 of the CPRs where these arrangements represent value for money.
  • Establish a record of the use of Indigenous and disability suppliers

 

Commercial Business Branch
(Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • Increased awareness of purchasing arrangements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Australian Disability Enterprises.
  • Increased number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suppliers and Australian Disability Enterprises contacted

 

1.5

Support Gender Equality in procurement

  • Apply the Workplace Gender Equality Procurement Principles to relevant procurement activities

Commercial Business Branch
(Assistant Secretary)

August 2013

  • Updated procurement and contract management templates, policies and procedures to support gender equality in the department’s procurement activities.

Diversity Priority 2 - Raise awareness and understanding of workplace diversity principles.

 

Output

Action

Lead Area

When

Success Indicators

2.1

Cultural awareness eLearning

  • Develop and implement an Indigenous cultural awareness eLearning module.
  • Develop and implement a diversity awareness eLearning module.

People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • Indigenous awareness eLearning module implemented and employee completion rates recorded.
  • Diversity awareness eLearning module implemented and employee completion rates recorded.
  • Increased number of employees believe that their agency is committed to creating a diverse workforce measured by the annual APS Employee Census 2013-14.

2.2

Translating and interpreting services

  • Identify priority languages to support our core business.
  • Develop a list of National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) qualified staff able to translate priority languages.
  • Update translating and interpreting information on mylink.

Program and Project Management (Assistant Secretary)
People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary)

December 2013

  • Priority languages identified.
  • NAATI qualified staff able to speak priorities languages identified.
  • Translating and interpreting information on mylink.

Diversity Priority 3 - Implement procedures to eliminate harassment and inappropriate workplace behaviour.

 

Output

Action

Lead Area

When

Success Indicators

3.1

Prevent and reduce racism

  • Communicate what racism is and how it affects individuals to help prevent and reduce racism.
  • Promote relevant eLearning modules on mylink.

People Services Branch
(Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • Increase in the number of staff completed the Human Rights are In Our Hands eLearning package and eLearning modules available on the Learning Management System.
  • Increased number of employees believe that their agency actively encourages ethical behaviour by all of its employees measured by the annual APS Employee Census 2013-14.

3.2

Bullying and Harassment eLearning

  • Develop and implement a bullying and harassment eLearning module.

People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary

June 2014

  • Bullying and Harassment eLearning module implemented.
  • Increased number of employees believe that the people in their work group treat each other with respect measured by the annual APS Employee Census 2013-14.

Diversity Priority 4 - Provide a supportive work environment which identifies and addresses the needs of specific diversity groups.

 

Output

Action

Lead Area

When

Success Indicators

4.1

Disclosure of diversity details

  • Promote the importance of disclosing diversity details in Aurion to enable initiatives to be developed for our diverse workforce.

People Strategy and Capability Branch
(Assistant Secretary)

March 2014

  • An increase in the number of employees who have disclosed their diversity details
  • employees who have self identified in Aurion.

4.2

Commence with implementation of the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender across the department

  • Incorporate Sex and Gender guidelines into form standards policy.
  • Scope what departmental forms require amendments to meet requirements outlined in the guidelines.

 

Governance Division (First Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • Form standards policy developed including Sex and Gender information in-line with government guidelines.
  • Departmental forms requiring amendments have been identified.

 

4.3

Diversity employee networks

  • Increase employee participation in diversity employee networks by rotating meetings across regional offices.

People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary)

June 2014

  • Increase in the number of employees attending meetings.

4.4

Employee census results

  • Analyse the results of the annual APS Employee Census to identify improvements.

People Strategy and Capability Branch (Assistant Secretary)

March 2014

  • Key issues /improvements identified and action plan developed to resolve issues.