• There is no one-size-fits-all approach to fostering talent and leadership today. Embracing differences is critical to the success of our people, clients and society. We understand the valuable insights that research like Capitalising on Culture can provide and we’re proud to support this important piece of work.

    Luke Sayers, CEO,
    PwC Australia

  • In this global economy, cultural insight can be just as important as technical ability for business leaders. We are pleased to support this research and believe it will help Australian organisations to further develop cultural diversity and inclusion strategies.

    Andrew Stevens, Managing Director,
    IBM Australia and New Zealand

  • The Multicultural Business Ministerial Council of Victoria fully supports this ground breaking research to understand the true picture around cultural diversity amongst Australia’s top business leaders.

    Cynthia Balogh, Chair,
    Victorian Multicultural Business Council

  • Telstra’s participation in “Capitalising on Culture” is directly relevant to our business. With our further expansion into Asia as one of Telstra’s critical strategic priorities, the imperative of intercultural competence and diversity is increasingly important for the company’s success as a business and in continuing to serve the needs of diverse customers.

    Troy Roderick, Head of Diversity & Inclusion,

  • The Leighton Group’s strategy is built on the diversity of our brands, geographic footprint and services, and successful implementation of this strategy is enabled by contributions from our diverse workforce. This landmark research to be undertaken by DCA will provide our business with invaluable information to leverage opportunities offered by the Asian Century.

    Hamish Tyrwhitt, CEO,
    Leighton Holdings

Endorsing organisations
  • Australian Multicultural Council
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Victorian Multicultural Business Advisory Council
  • Ethnic Business Awards
  • Scanlon Foundation
  • Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA)

Harnessing cultural diversity in Australia and from abroad will be essential to meeting the challenges of skill shortages, global labour market competition and an ageing population.  But how much do we really understand the current state of play or what it will take to truly capitalise on culture?


Diversity Council Australia is conducting landmark research which will investigate the cultural profile of the board and senior executive team in ASX 200 organisations and the extent to which the largest listed companies are building inter-cultural capability and tapping into local and international talent when sourcing their business leaders.


The first phase of the research was released on 23 October 2013 at a special event hosted by PwC, and it revealed, for the first time ever in Australia, the cultural origins of board members and senior executives in our major listed companies. Whilst it found some encouraging breadth and depth in cultural diversity amongst business leaders, it also identified some underrepresentation in key areas, especially when compared with the general population. DCA made a series of recommendations to assist organisations to better measure and capitalise on culture.


For an overview of the results, click here. For an interactive summary of the results, click here. DCA members can obtain a full copy of the research here.

Business Case for Cultural Diversity

Our diverse population and workforce can provide business with important skills and knowledge. Nurturing and harnessing the cultural diversity of employees enhances an organisation’s business and reputation. It broadens links with the community including potential new markets. It provides business, cultural and linguistic contacts and skills for international trade and it creates a reputation of being more welcoming and attractive to a broader section of customers, suppliers and staff.

This is backed up by research that shows clear economic benefits for cultural diversity:

  • Companies with high executive and board diversity had returns on equity (ROE) an average of 53% higher than those with low levels of diversity, and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins 14% higher.
  • Diverse teams (properly managed and trained) are better able to solve complex problems. One study of 28 teams found those that were heterogeneous solved complex tasks better than the homogeneous teams. They noted the diverse teams exhibited a higher level of creativity and a broader thought process. 
  • Diverse perspectives also lead to innovation. Companies that drive innovation by leveraging the ideas and knowledge of their employees meet product revenue targets 46% more often and product launch dates 47% more often than industry peers.

Click here for more information on the business case for cultural diversity.


Know-how in the Asian century

16 May 2013

BRW's Leo D'Angelo Fisher talks about business reaction to the federal government's goal that by 2025 one-third of board members of ASX 200 companies would have “deep experience in and knowledge of Asia”.

Read more

Lack of cultural diversity a 'risk'

2 January 2013

Cultural diversity will be the next wave of change for Australian boards in 2013, as corporates look to their senior ranks to forge a deeper engagement with Asia, according to Lisa MacNamara in The Australian.

Read more

Promotion of multicultural workplaces

22 March 2013

SBS talks to DCA's Cultural Diversity Director, Katriina Tahka, on how organisations need to better engage existing employees with different cultural backgrounds.

Read more

Luke Sayers, CEO PwC Australia

Luke Sayers, CEO of PwC Australia, talks about his support for Diversity Council Australia's Capitalising on Culture research.

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