There are 10 days left before nominations close for this year’s Australian Public Service Diversity and Gender Equality Awards.
The awards were first given out last November as a way to recognise public servants and agencies that make extra efforts to promote inclusive working environments.
One award goes to an individual, one to a department or agency, and one to a staff network, such as the Australian Taxation Office network for LGBTIQ staff and allies, ATOMIC, which pipped the Network of Employment Women in IT (NEWinIT) from the Department of Employment last year.
There is also a gender equality award, which can go to any of the three kinds of entities.
The award categories reflect the priorities of the APS secretaries and Diversity Council, according to the Australian Public Service Commission, which has more information on this year’s awards and answers to common questions.
One agency that might be in the running is the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which recently published an Inclusion and Diversity Strategy for the first time, setting out four goals:
- Informing and Including our Workforce for an Engaged Diverse Culture
- Engaging and Retaining a Representative Workforce
- Supporting and Encouraging Employee Participation, Capability Development and Wellbeing
- Driving Improvements Through Inclusive and Diverse Leadership
The ABS has a team of inclusion and diversity champions who support related staff networks and their leader, Australian Statistician David Kalisch, who is part of the Male Champions of Change project.
“I am committed to making the best use of the special skills and qualities of all our staff through strengthening an ABS workplace culture that fosters inclusiveness, builds respect and capitalises on diversity,” Kalisch wrote in a message published with the new strategy.
“In this way, our staff will be able to bring their best to the workplace and continue to contribute to increasing and sustained ABS success.”
New South Wales looks at the bigger picture
The Berejiklian government in NSW has also recently refreshed its diversity policies with a new plan to raise the “economic, social and physical wellbeing of women and girls” across the whole state.
The government has asked senior public servants to work together in a coordinated “whole-of-government strategic approach” to deliver the NSW Women’s Strategy 2018-2022, according to the Minister for Women, Tanya Davies.
“The four-year Women’s Strategy is the beginning of a renewed focus and drive for the NSW Government to deliver via our annual action plans,” she said in a statement. “We are committed and determined to build on this activity into the future.”
Davies has tied a range of actions to the first year of the strategy including a new “annual report on NSW Government spending on women” and delivery of a new women’s health strategy.
“We want to lead by example and ensure the public sector is the best place for women to work. We know we can make a difference with the NSW Government employing 10 per cent of the State’s working population,” Davies said.
“We must close the gap across our personal and professional lives and boost opportunities for women and girls, while also creating new ones.”