Arup & UTS join RISE project pilot

Diversity Council Australia and partners Settlement Services International (SSI) and Chief Executive Women (CEW)’s groundbreaking RISE project is now underway, working alongside pilot organisations including Arup and UTS.

The RISE (Realise. Inspire. Support. Energise.) project aims to help culturally and racially marginalised (CARM) women progress in the workplace after a landmark DCA report identified intersectional barriers were locking them out of leadership positions.

Participating organisations will gain access to critical support, advice and training programs to help them address systemic barriers as well as building on CARM women’s leadership capabilities at an individual level.

“Gender equality efforts have for too long focused on empowering equality for Caucasian women,” said Abbie Wright, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Associate at Arup, “RISE places an intersectional lens across gender and race. It draws attention to the inequalities experienced by racially marginalised women.”

Understanding systemic barriers

Dr Elaine Laforteza, Equity and Diversity Project Officer (Cultural Diversity) and Jo Tilly, Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion from the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion said the RISE project will help enable organisations to better understand the systemic barriers for women across both gender and race.

“It has been very clear that while we have been working on gender equity for a long time, we need to do so in a more intersectional manner,” they said.

“Being involved in the RISE program also enables us to celebrate the unique experiences, perspectives and expertise of women from culturally and racially marginalised (CARM) backgrounds and support their progression at work.”

Implementing lasting change in organisations

Launched by DCA along with partners SSI and CEW in March 2023, RISE will work with 375 CARM women across 25 participating organisations to implement lasting change interventions.

“It’s great to see leading organisations like Arup and UTS supporting the RISE project with such enthusiasm,” said Sheetal Deo, Senior Project Manager for the RISE project.

“We’re excited to work with them and look forward to working with other organisations in Phase 1 and 2, respectively to improve access to executive and senior leadership roles for CARM women.”

The pilot phase is the first of three phases, with a further 11 organisations joining later this year for phase 1 and 11 more in 2024 for phase 2.

Applications for Phase 1 are closing soon. If your organisation is interested in applying, go here for more information.

The RISE project is funded by the Commonwealth Government Office for Women.


Media Contact: Ali Coulton |