Case study - Strategic Plan

by Women of Colour Australia
Women of Colour Australia (WoCA) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in August 2020 by Brenda Gaddi (she/her), a first-generation migrant from Manila, the Philippines. WoCA envisions a world where girls and women of colour are afforded equitable opportunities to reach their full potential. WoCA is currently run by 138 volunteers including its Managing Director, Brenda Gaddi (she/her).

Developing strategies to promote cultural diversity and anti-racism

WoCA’s focus is to:

  • Educate: leading to growth opportunities
  • Support: leading to creating a sense of belonging and
  • Advocate: leading to a stronger community

WoCA’s strategic plan, created in September 2020, outlines a number of organisational commitments including the goal to promote cultural diversity, equity and inclusion. The plan was refreshed in September 2021 based on the results of a national survey that sought to understand the barriers and challenges faced by women of colour in Australian workplaces. This Strategic plan sets out four key objectives detailed below:

Objective 1 - Build and maintain a credible evidence base for Women of Colour Australia’s policies, initiatives, and programs; and utilise evidence to influence decision making. The Workplace Survey highlighted the urgent and critical need for a systemic and structural change in response to the high level of (almost 60% of respondents) incidents of discrimination and racism in Australian workplaces. To achieve this, WoCA has set up a Research and Advocacy Committee with the goal to publish at least one piece of research per year relating to cultural diversity, equity & inclusion and racial equality in the workplace.

Objective 2 - Engage and communicate effectively with women of colour and allies to understand the opportunities and constraints for women of colour in the workplace and in the business space, and leverage data and insights to promote change. WoCA aims to create and implement an intentional and purposeful communications and engagement plan to connect with women of colour and allies across Australia. This would be achieved by consulting and collaborating with at least five allied Australian organisations and businesses per year to share research, data and insights regarding opportunities and constraints for women of colour that would catalyse impactful and tangible progressive change in workplaces.

Objective 3 - Provide access to industry-leading resources that will equip women of colour to succeed in the Australian workplace. WoCA plans to develop and implement a mentorship and an executive leadership program designed by women of colour for women of colour. The main purpose of these programs is to help advance their career development and progress, improve their experiences in ethnocentric workplaces and boardrooms and support and amplify their voices against workplace discrimination and racism. WoCA also aims to implement an entrepreneurship program to equip women of colour to access key business skills, mentors, resources, and funding to grow sustainable businesses with a target of 100+ women of colour completing the program.

Objective 4 - Create an active Women of Colour Australia community that embodies and promotes the organisation’s values and vision to further opportunities, partnerships, and growth. WoCA has a team of volunteers to assist with its purpose. It will participate in two community outreach programs per year, hold two networking events per year and create a digital publishing platform that will champion WoC voices.

To consolidate these objectives, a theme for the year is created which acts as an overarching strategic goal for that year. In 2022, the theme is ‘Access’: gaining access to all types of opportunities for all women of colour. To achieve this, WoCA aims to advocate for access by co-designing and co-building equitable, impactful and sustainable programs and initiatives with and for its community.


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