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M A N A G I N G

D V ER S TY
M A N A G I NG DI V E R S I T Y I N T H E DE PA R TM E N T

O F E D U C AT I O N , T R A I N I N G A N D E M P L O YM E N T
November 1999

Written by Jan Shone,

Project Manager,

Managing Diversity,

Department of Education,

Training and Employment.

Designed by Foundation Studios.

Printed by Bowden Printing.

ISBN 1 86506 134 4

M a n a g i n g
F O R E W O R D

The Department of Education, Training and The potential benefits of Managing Diversity

Employment welcomes the state government’s include increased employee and client

Managing Diversity - People Mean satisfaction, increased productivity, and more

Business initiative. inclusive management. The success of this

initiative hinges on shared understanding,


As a major employing agency, we aim to lead
commitment and participation.
in the area of equal employment opportunity

(EEO) by promoting an inclusive and vibrant Your attention to this booklet will greatly help

organisational culture which recognises, values in our attempts to enhance the workplace.

and fully develops the diversity of our employees.

Managing Diversity links with the aims of local

school management (Partnerships 21), in that

it has a focus on equity and leadership, and

encourages responding flexibly to the needs of Geoff Spring

our staff, our clients and local communities. CHIEF EXECUTIVE

D i v e r s i t y
c o n t e n t s

Introduction .................................... 1

What is Managing Diversity? ................. 2

The legal framework .......................... 3

Managing Diversity goals:

Goal 1: Vibrant and inclusive culture ....... 4

Goal 2: Focus on leadership in diversity ... 6

Goal 3: Welcoming environment ............ 8

Views of successful implementation ...... 10

Key definitions ............................... 11


M a n a g i n g
D i v e r s i t y

i
The government’s commitment to promoting

n
workplace diversity is outlined in the Managing

t
Diversity - People Mean Business strategy

r
developed by the Office for the Commissioner

o
for Public Employment (OCPE). This initiative

is now being implemented throughout all

d
government departments.

u
Your manager, principal or director has a copy

c
of this government strategy.

t
In response, our department

i
has developed this information

o
booklet to encourage your

involvement in successful

n
implementation of the strategy.

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W h at i s M a n a g i n g D i v e r s i t y ?

Diversity refers to a broad range of characteristics including: gender,

age, race, disability, cultural background, sexual orientation, educat-

ion, religious belief, class, tenure and family responsibilities.

Managing Diversity is an initiative which recognises the links between

effective people management and increased organisational efficiency

and productivity. It is about increasing diversity at all levels of the depart-

ment as well as making the most of the talent inside our organisation.

“ Managing Diversity
Implementation involves creating an inclusive environment that wel-

must become a fundamental comes and values the talents and contributions of people of different

backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. The building of such an

management philosophy that environment begins with a foundation of sound anti-discrimination policies

and practices and effective EEO initiatives. The advantages of effectively

is integrated into all of our tapping into the diverse talents and perspectives of employees include

improved performance and productivity throughout the department.

plans and processes.


” A diverse workforce means the department is better placed to provide

services appropriate to all sections of the community and provide


Kathy Schaefer more representative and inclusive advice to government.
Acting Director
Strategic Planning and Information
2
t h e l e g a l f r a m e w o r k

The Managing Diversity initiative relates to a range of state and federal Equal

Opportunity Acts with which the department as an employer and as a public sector

agency is required to comply. In summary, these acts are designed to promote

fairness and equity and to eliminate direct and indirect discrimination in employment.
“ One of the outcomes of

In particular:
this initiative will be improved
★ the Public Sector Management Act (SA) 1995 requires agencies to use diversity
data collection systems to enable
to advantage in their workforces. All employees should have equal opportunities

to secure promotion and advancement in their employment as well as reasonable more accurate measurement of the
avenues of redress. Agencies must treat all employees fairly and consistently,

prevent unlawful or unjustifiable direct or indirect discrimination against


diversity of our employees, and for

employees or persons seeking employment on any grounds, and must base all

selection decisions on merit.


decisions to be based on fact.

Stephanie Page
★ the Equal Opportunity Act (SA) 1984 makes it unlawful to discriminate in
Director, Equity Standards
employment either directly or indirectly on the grounds of age, sex, sexuality,

marital status, pregnancy, physical or intellectual impairment, and race.

★ the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) has a broad definition of disability. It makes discrimination on the grounds

of disability unlawful and requires employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities.

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G oa l 1 Vibrant and inclusive culture

Goal 1 To develop and sustain a vibrant organisational

culture which recognises, values and fully develops the diversity of

its workforce.

R at i o n a l e The Department is a large

organisation which is responsible for designing and providing quality

care, teaching, learning and training, as well as promoting employ-

“ To value our
ment to the diverse community of South Australia. The department’s

own diversity, built on the skills, experience and backgrounds of staff

people and their contribution


can contribute to better productivity and client service.

we must value and celebrate Good business practice recognises that there is a direct relationship

between high levels of internal and external client satisfaction.


their diversity.
” A priority of Managing Diversity is the valuing of all staff with the

Mary Harold aim of continually improving our services to the community.

Director, Information Technology Services


4
“ Greater diversity

in management is

likely to result in increased


ACHIEVEMENT INDICATORS

productivity and better


★ Employee satisfaction

★ Client satisfaction
quality management.

Cynthia O’Neil

★ Range of flexible working conditions and policies in place Deputy Principal

Murray Bridge South Primary School


★ People from EEO groups represented in the composition

of senior and other management

★ Staff aware of Managing Diversity principles

★ Managers and leaders demonstrate diversity

competencies

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G oa l 2 Focus on leadership in diversity

Goal 2 To lead in the development of a workforce that

reflects the community and responds to client needs.

R at i o n a l e The department is more likely to

provide leadership in the community and to deliver effective

programs and services if the diversity of its employees reflects the

diversity of the community.

“ Diversity at all
Systems to accurately describe current staff diversity are needed to

levels of the organisation enable accurate comparisons between the staff profile and the

community profile, and to enable decisions to be based on fact.


can provide positive role
Some groups in society have historically encountered and currently
models and help reduce
experience disadvantage and discrimination and are underrepresent-
stereotypes relating to people ed in employment. Implementing policies and programs with a focus

from different groups.


” on diversity issues is a way of increasing the representation of

people from these groups and increasing productivity.


Steve Kelton
Director, Human Resources
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“ Checking out our

perception before acting is

an important principle of
ACHIEVEMENT INDICATORS

diversity and genuinely


★ A range of employment equity strategies for designated

EEO groups implemented.

Designated EEO groups include:

● women
respecting one another.

John Hunter
● Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Lecturer, Adelaide Institute of TAFE


● people with disabilities

● people from non-English speaking backgrounds

★ Effective systems for describing, measuring and analysing

staff diversity within the department

★ The effect of any major policies on EEO groups is

assessed prior to implementation and any adverse

effects addressed.

★ Representation of EEO groups at all levels of

the department

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G oa l 3 Welcoming environment

Goal 3 To promote a workplace

environment free from discrimination.

R at i o n a l e This goal outlines the legal

context of Managing Diversity. The department as an employer and

all staff as employees have obligations under all of the equal

“ A diverse workforce opportunity related Acts, and in particular, the:

offers more opportunities ★ Equal Opportunity Act (SA) 1984

for heterogenous solutions ★ Public Sector Management Act (SA) 1995

which include all members


★ Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

of our society, not just those

who are in the majority.



Ron Hoenig
Managing Editor, Xpress
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“ Maximising differences

in teams at all levels, and

encouraging and facilitating

conversations within and

ACHIEVEMENT INDICATORS across teams is the best way

to spark new ideas which can


★ Recruitment and selection processes are in accordance

with the merit and equity principles lead to improvement and

★ Policies prohibiting sexual and racial harassment


innovation.

Bev Tonkin, Acting Principal Policy Officer,
are in place
(Quality) Office of Vocational Education

and Training
★ A reasonable adjustment policy is in place for people

with disabilities

★ All staff access relevant training to gain a full knowledge

of anti-discrimination policies and procedures and access

to relevant assistance

★ The majority of grievances are conciliated constructively

in the workplace

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views of successful implementation

Chief Managers
Clients
Executive and staff

★ Seen to be achieving ★ Alignment of policy ★ Welcoming and


government priorities and practice open organisation

★ Leading agency for


Managing Diversity ★ Visible and tangible ★ Want to establish
indicators of change partnerships
★ Diversity at all levels
of organisation
★ No victimisation
★ Fair treatment
★ Increased job
satisfaction and ★ Change leaders are
opportunities for ★ Serious not token
supported
development behaviour

★ Easy to attract and ★ Increased staff and


retain high performers client satisfaction ★ Improved services

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k e y d e f i n i t i o n s

Ggooa
allss are the objectives the department needs to achieve for successful implementation of the Managing
Diversity initiative. There are three major goals in the department’s plan.

RRaattiio
onna
a llee describes the reason and context for each goal. In particular the rationale explains the
links to the principles of merit and equity.

Aacch
hiiee v
veem
meen
ntt i Inn
ddi ci a
ctao
trosr are best practice performance measures to be achieved over
time. The indicators are designed to provide practical examples to assist in the measurement of the merit and
equity principles throughout the department.

meerriit
M t an
ndd eEqquui t
ity yp r
P irnicni c
p il p
e sl: Merit and Equity principles underpin the
Managing Diversity strategy.

Merit is about the most competent person being selected for the job.

Equity means fairness and impartiality, but not necessarily treating everyone in the same way. If you treat
everyone the same, you may not be treating them fairly.

Equity and fair treatment encompass the concepts of:


★ valuing people’s diverse experiences
★ prevention of direct and indirect discrimination through workplace policies on sexual and racial
harassment and on reasonable adjustment
★ natural justice which ensures people have an opportunity to be heard by an unbiased decision maker
★ Equal Employment Opportunity.

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For more information please visit the Diversity
website at w w w . d i v e r s i t y . n e x u s . e d u . a u

If you would like advice on Managing Diversity


initiatives please contact the Senior Consultant:

Sarah Marshall
Managing Diversity, Human Resources
Department of Education, Training and Employment
11th Floor, 31 Flinders Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Telephone: (08) 8226 1170

“ The notion of diversity is a local, national and global phen-


omenon. We have to value, understand and utilise diversity in order

to be truly effective participants in a cultural democracy.



Vincenzo Andreacchio, Program Manager, Countering Racism

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