Election 2016: Where do the major parties stand on D&I?

Media releases

Diversity Council Australia has today released responses to its pre-election survey about policies the major parties would be taking to the election that support diversity and inclusion in Australian workplaces.

CEO, Lisa Annese said that government has an important role to play in supporting diversity and inclusion in Australian workplaces.

“As the independent not for profit diversity advisor to business, DCA leads debate on diversity in the public arena. In order to keep our members informed, we asked the major parties a series of questions from DCA’s own research about where they stand on diversity and inclusion in Australian workplaces.

“The Coalition and the Labor Party have responded to our survey and today we are releasing their responses to let our members know where the parties stand on diversity and inclusion,” said Lisa.

DCA’s survey included questions about the following issues:

  1. Women’s workforce participation. Policies in relation to the availability, affordability and accessibility of childcare, access to a national paid parental leave scheme, genuine shared responsibility for parenting, care and other domestic responsibilities, policies and programs to increase women in leadership and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  2. Domestic violence. Policies in relation to supporting and protecting victims of domestic violence in the workplace.
  3. Pay equity. Actions to close the gender pay gap given that a KPMG report commissioned by DCA found that closing the gap would be good for industry, resulting in greater competitiveness and economic output with workers better matched to their capabilities; reduced costs through lower staff turnover; and greater retention of skilled and knowledgeable staff.
  4. People with disability. Actions to improve the employment opportunities of people with disability.
  5. Carers. Support for workers who are also carers (caring for people with disability etc).
  6. Indigenous Australians. Actions to drive workforce participation for Indigenous Australians.
  7. Mature age workers. Actions to support workforce participation and retention of mature age workers.
  8. Cultural diversity. Policies to enable workforce participation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds and actions to improve Asia capability for the future workforce, given that DCA’s research shows that leveraging cultural diversity can assist organisations broaden their strategic perspective, innovate and address projected workforce requirements; and that Australia’s workforce Asia capability needs to be improved.
  9. LGBTI+ employees. Actions to ensure that workplaces are welcoming and inclusive of all employees and customers, from all sexual orientations, gender identities or intersex status, given that DCA’s research has found significant concerns about continued discrimination among Australian LGBTI+ employees.
  10. Flexible work. Measures to enable the mainstreaming of flexible work for all people, given that DCA research shows that flexibility is an important employment and retention driver but meaningful flexible work and careers do not yet exist.

The Coalition and Labor responses can be found below: