Free online tool to help create and manage a culturally diverse workplace

Date: 
Friday 19 September 2014

From left to right: Adam Creighton, Economics correspondent, The Australian; Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Services; Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner; Lisa Annese, CEO, Diversity Council Australia; and Ken Woo, Asset Management Leader, PwC.

 

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a free online tool to help businesses enhance productivity through a culturally diverse workplace.

The online tool was launched by Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane and Parliamentary Secretary for Social Services with special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, at a function at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Sydney.

“While Australians embrace diversity in our everyday lives, while we are you might say relaxed and comfortable about our cultural diversity, there remains a long way to go in terms of getting things right in the workplace,” Dr Soutphommasane said.

“Not every employer or manager understands how they can benefit from a culturally diverse workforce and not everyone knows how they can make the most of culturally diverse clients or customers.”

Commissioner Soutphommasane said the Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool would help Australian organisations make the most of cultural diversity, prevent bias in recruitment processes and prevent racial discrimination.

“This tool will help highlight situations where discrimination could occur and it points to steps that employers and managers could take to prevent them from happening,” he said.

The tool forms part of the National Anti-Racism Strategy and was developed in partnership with Diversity Council Australia and VicHealth.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said cultural diversity was a significant asset to Australia.

“Diversity can result in great innovation, encourage creative problem solving and help a business to reach its full potential. In short, diversity adds value,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“With our increasing diversity, it is important that we maximise the benefits to Australia to enable us to recruit talented people and enable businesses – whether small, medium or large – to attract a broader range of clients or customers.”

PwC CEO Luke Sayers said the tool would be a valuable resource for PwC in reaching their goal of creating a more culturally diverse workplace.

“We see there being tremendous competitive advantage, from a business perspective and also from a societal perspective, in being world-class in diversity,” Mr Sayers said.

Diversity Council Australia CEO Lisa Annese said the online tool will help organisations to measure themselves against international best practice and identify areas for improvement.

“This tool is a great opportunity for organisations to start the basic assessment and analysis of their workplace,” Ms Annese said.

“In order to manage diversity really well you first need to understand what it is that you’re managing.”

For more information or to access the new tool visit http://culturaldiversity.humanrights.gov.au

The event was livestreamed and a video is available on YouTube.