Counting Culture: Measuring and Reporting on Workforce Cultural Diversity

18 May 2021

What is the most inclusive and informative way for Australian employers to measure and report on cultural diversity in their workforce and leadership teams?

As we approach the World Day for Cultural Diversity on 21 May, it is timely to reflect on the cultural diversity of Australia's workforce and whether business is really making the most of all the talents, capabilities and opportunities out there.

For organisations, a first critical step in effectively capitalising on cultural diversity is ‘counting culture’ – that is, measuring the degree and breadth of culturally diverse talent in their leadership team, workforce, customer base, and labour market pool. This enables organisations to assess how well their current workforce and leadership team supports the markets and clients they serve.

DCA has partnered with the University of Sydney Business School, and sponsors City of Sydney Council and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to undertake a ground-breaking report called Counting Culture: Towards A Standardised Approach to Measuring and Reporting on Workforce Cultural Diversity in Australia. The report provides Australian organisations with practical guidance on how they can measure and report on their workforce cultural diversity in the most inclusive and informative way.

DCA’s Research Director Dr Jane O’Leary presented the report findings and discussed both the complexities of counting culture and the implications to business of meaningfully measuring workforce cultural diversity. The presentation outlines:

  • Critical considerations when measuring and reporting cultural diversity, including whether we should move to race-based reporting in Australia
  • Five recommended Counting Culture measures
  • What questions, response options, and reporting categories organisations should use, and
  • Importantly, why we recommend this approach over others.

Following the presentation, DCA's Member Relations and Advisory Director Mariam Veiszadeh speaks with leading practitioners about the impacts for their business.  Our guest panel includes:

  1. Dr Dimitria Groutsis, Associate Professor, SOAR Fellow, Thompson Fellow, Convenor Migrants@Work Research Group - Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, The University of Sydney Business School
  2. Susan Pettifer, Director, People, Performance and Technology, City of Sydney
  3. Jen Pallath, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, People & Development, ASIC
  4. Josh Griffin, Head of Inclusion and Talent Development, SBS Australia.


Event Reviews:

'Thank you for today’s webinar, I found it really informative and can see easy application as we continue to evolve how we understand our people’s experiences and the diversity they bring.' - Nikki, Macquarie Bank Limited

The rest of this content is restricted to DCA members.