Culture & Faith

Today's workforce is comprised of people from numerous cultural, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds and identities.

Increasingly, organisations are recognising the value of cultural diversity, cultural capability, and global workforce experience. Organisations that are culturally diverse and inclusive can broaden their strategic perspective, identify and enter new local and global markets, innovate, achieve business goals in culturally diverse business settings, and generate high performing multi-national and multicultural teams.

Yet, culturally diverse talent are underrepresented in leadership ranks in Australia relative to their representation in the wider community and can face numerous bariers to career progression. Employers can do a lot to make the most of the talents of a culturally diverse workforce.

In this section you will find information about key definitions and the state of play for cultural diversity in Australia, the business case for cultural diversity and inclusion, some leading practices for creating culturally diverse and inclusive workplaces, case studies, and additional resources and reading on cultural diversity.


 

DCA Research

Eradicating Racism at Work (coming soon)

Eradicating Racism. Photo/Samuel Regan Asante

In response to the global conversation around race that unfolded in 2020, and the resultant growing calls for organisations to do better when it comes to confronting racism, DCA is undertaking research to understand how Australian organisations can most effectively address racism at work.

Counting Culture 2021

Counting Culture report image with DCA and University of Sydney Business School logo with text 'TOWARDS A STANDARDISED APPROACH TO MEASURING AND REPORTING ON WORKFORCE CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN AUSTRALIA.'

This research from DCA and the University of Sydney Business School has developed a standardised approach for defining, measuring, and reporting on workforce cultural diversity in a respectful, accurate and inclusive way.

D&I 101 - Collecting Diversity Data

D&I 101: Conducting a Diversity Survey - with speech bubble for different diversity dimensions including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islnder Peoples, Carers, Disbility, Age, Multicultural including Religion & Gender/LGBTIQ+

DCA's Guide to Conducting a Diversity Survey - How to ask your employees about their diversity.

Intersections at Work

Intersections report cover image

Pride in Diversity and DCA joined forces on this project as their respective research on LGBTQ workplace inclusion had revealed that culturally diverse LGBTQ workers had unique workplace experiences that warranted deeper investigation.

Creating inclusive multi-faith workplaces

Creating Inclusive MultiFaith Workplaces - Large number of circles with icons representing different faiths and religions

This resource provides guidance to Australian workplaces about how to deal with a range of common faith-related queries, and also to provide workplaces with principles to help balance issues where conflicting rights might intersect.

Counting Culture

Counting Culture - Six principles for Measuring the Cultural Diversity of your Workplace

This practical guide is designed to assist Australian business map the cultural diversity of their workforce.

Cracking the Glass-Cultural Ceiling

Cracking the Glass-Cultural Ceiling: Future proofing your business in the 21st century

DCA's latest report explores why so few culturally diverse females reach top leadership positions in Australia and what organisations can do to better recognise the skill and ambition of culturally diverse female talent.

Inclusion@Work Index 2017-2018

Inclusion@Work Index 2017-2018 The State of Inclusion in the Australian Workforce. Sponsored by Suncorp

The DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index 2017-2018 is a landmark study, providing the first-ever national benchmarks for Australian workplaces in regards to the age, cultural background, disability status, gender, Indigenous background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity of workers.

Capitalising on Culture and Gender in ASX leadership

Capitalising on culture and gender in leadership report cover image (decorative purposes)

In this landmark research, Diversity Council Australia and Deakin University, with the financial support of CPA Australia, tracked the extent of cultural diversity among women in leadership in ASX companies from 2004 to 2015.

Leading in the Asian Century: A National Scorecard of Australia’s Workforce Asia Capability

Asia Capability report cover

In ground breaking research, DCA has generated the first ever National Scorecard of Australia’s Workforce Asia Capability.

WordsAtWork - Building inclusion through the power of language

Words at Work report image

DCA has developed a new Words At Work campaign for workplaces to show how inclusive language can improve workplace culture and drive productivity.

Capitalising on Culture - ASX Directors 2004-2013

Diversity Council Australia partnered with Deakin University on Australian first research to investigate cultural diversity in ASX Boards over the past decade.

Capitalising on Culture

In an Australian first, DCA's new research called Capitalising on Culture: A Study of the Cultural Origins of ASX 200 Business Leaders and released on 23 October 2013, reveals the cultural origins of board members and senior executives in our major listed companies.

Cracking the Cultural Ceiling

People from Asian backgrounds are well represented in entry level and mid-level jobs in Australian business, yet they are significantly under-represented in leadership roles, representing an enormous waste of talent, according to DCA's research launched August 2014.

Capitalising on Culture Pilot Survey

Capitalising on Culture showed an encouraging depth and breadth of cultural and linguistic diversity at the most senior levels and in the leadership pipeline, but also revealed a need to capitalise more on talent who possess a non-English speaking cultural identity.

Other Research

Islamophobia in Australia II

Islamophobia in Australia (2016-2017)

The 2019 Islamophobia in Australia report suggests that hate incidents are not just a problem for Muslims, but will need national engagement if Australia is to maintain social cohesion and live up to its multicultural legacy.

Stronger Together: the impact of family separation on refugees and humanitarian migrants in Australia

kadunbar@deloitte.com.au

This report from Oxfam Australia looks at the long-term economic benefits Australia stands to gain by increasing the intake of refugees.

Making the most of the skills and experience of migrants and refugees

This report explores the economic and social imperative for better utilisation of skills and experience of migrants and refugees in Queensland, what is getting in our way, and how we might move forward to reap the benefits.

Birthplaces, languages, ancestries and religions of Australian CEOs

Why do men born in the USA, UK or Canada have a greater chance of becoming an Australian CEO than those who are locally born?

Beyond the Pale: Cultural Diversity on ASX 100 Boards

Beyond the Pale: Cultural Diversity on ASX 100 Boards

This report presents a qualitative study of the cultural diversity of Australian boardrooms.

Mckinsey (2017) Delivering through diversity

This report from McKinsey research reinforces the link between diversity and company financial performance—and suggests how organizations can craft better inclusion strategies for a competitive edge.

Intersectionality Matters: Guide to engaging immigrant and refugee communities to prevent violence against women

The Intersectionality Matters Guide aims to help people and organisations develop violence prevention approaches, strategies and activities in a way that meaningfully engages immigrant and refugee communities.

Case Studies

NAB’s African Australian Employment Program

NAB’s African Australian Inclusion Program provides six months of work experience, to help people find meaningful employment.

Herbert Smith Freehills taking action to improve ethnic diversity across the firm (2020)

In the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd in May 2020, Herbert Smith Freehills’ CEO and the broader leadership team began a deeper conversation with their people about improving ethnic diversity across the firm.

News

Just asking ‘where are you from…?’ is not the best way to understand Australia’s rich cultural diversity, report finds

Media releases

A new report, out today, from DCA and the University of Sydney Business School has found that Australian organisations are missing out on important business opportunities by failing to effectively measure the degree and breadth of culturally diverse talent.

It's time for real action against racism

News articles

DCA joined 30 other high profile community organisations asking the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to work together to tackle racism.

Intersections at Work: Understanding the Experiences of Culturally Diverse LGBTQ Talent at Work

Media releases

Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and Pride in Diversity have today released a joint report into the workplace inclusion experiences of culturally diverse LGBTQ workers.

Perspectives

Workplaces – a key chapter in improving the stories of Australian Muslims

Opinion pieces

Workplace-driven solutions are key to improving the stories of Australian Muslims.

Call me by my name | COVID -19

Poster with the words: Be kind
Blog

As coronavirus panic sparks increased racism DCA CEO Lisa Annese reminds us of the unity, kindness, and respect needed to endure this human crisis.

Submission: Religious Discrimination Legislation - Second Exposure Draft 2020

Submissions

DCA strongly supports individuals being protected from discrimination and harassment because of their religious belief and we proactively support our members in creating workplaces where religious belief is afforded the same dignity and respect as other attributes of a person’s identity.

Coming events

28 Sep 2021

Australia has much to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and workplaces are no exception. At this event we will explore personal experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and truths from both a historical and modern perspective and how these untold truths can become barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the workplace.

Webcasts from past events

27 May 2021

DCA’s Inclusion@Work Index offers DCA members the opportunity to map and track the state of diversity and inclusion in their workforce benchmarked against leading D&I employers.

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?