Statistics Bureau launches new diversity and inclusion policy

Strategy developed with 'shifting' employee expectations in mind, says ABS

Statistics Bureau launches new diversity and inclusion policy

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has unveiled an Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 2022-26 that outlines an updated series of commitments from the agency for a more inclusive workplace culture.

"These strategic priorities confirm the ABS' intention to embed inclusion and diversity through our actions when engaging, supporting, participating, and developing our staff and products, as well as ensuring staff wellbeing and representation in leadership," said David Gruen, chief statistician at the ABS.

According to Gruen, the new D&I priorities of the ABS were developed to meet the "shifting expectations" of its staff, government, and clients. Outcomes expected by the agency include:

  • Having an inclusive culture where employees:
    • Support an environment where harassment and discrimination are not tolerated and people feel safe, welcomed, and empowered
    • Work in an environment that is culturally and psychologically safe
  • Being an attractive employer by ensuring:
    • The ABS workforce profile reflects the Australian population
    • Physical workplaces and technology are based on the principle of accessibility for all
    • The ABS invest in the professional development and careers of staff
  • Embodying a high-performance culture by ensuring:
    • Employees are supported and encouraged to undertake management and/or leadership opportunities
    • Employees and managers readily access resources regarding workplace inclusion and diversity
    • Employees are provided with a safe, accessible, and inclusive work environment which provides flexibility and support
  • Having leaders from varied cultures, faiths, backgrounds, and diversity groups who promote diversity by:
    • Building and leading diverse work teams with respectful, supportive behaviour
    • Modelling inclusive behaviour and actively challenging the behaviour of others that do not reflect these values
    • Modelling healthy work/life balance and actively supporting flexible working in their teams

Progress is to be measured through wellbeing surveys, HR indicators, and other reports, according to the ABS.

"To remain relevant and effective, the strategy will be reviewed annually to assess and measure progress and adjust and reset priorities to meet the needs of the organisation," the report said.

The ABS has a total of 3,779 employees as of June 2021, according to its annual report.

Gruen said the strategy is a key element of its ABS 2021-25 Workforce Strategy and supports the goals of the APS Workforce and Employment Strategies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disabilities, and gender equality.


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