High-performing organisations are characterised by
their commitment to diversity and culture of inclusion,
which typically comes down to treating employees fairly
and providing them with equal access to opportunities.10
Evidence shows that diverse and inclusive organisations
are much more likely to meet business goals. Employees
who feel included are also more likely to think that they
work in a high-performing organisation. The results show
that when there is high diversity and low inclusion, or low
diversity and high inclusion, the business outcomes are
never as impressive.11
The NSW public sector is at a crossroads when it comes
to diversity under the GSE Act. Agencies are required to
incorporate diversity into their workforce plans at a time
when there is a growing recognition of the value of diversity to service quality and business outcomes. As noted in
the Foreword, the definition of diversity is now broader
but is still undefined.
In the remainder of this section we review how NSW is
performing in terms of workforce diversity, based on our
latest research findings. The main focus in 2014 has been
on strategies relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
employees, people with a disability and the participation of
women at senior levels.
According to the Agency survey, 63% of agencies have an
approach to diversity that extends beyond the traditional
equal employment dimensions, although only 8% report
implementation at a highly developed level. Diversity is
incorporated into workforce plans (a new requirement of
the GSE Act) in 59% of agencies, with 7% reporting that
their plans are highly developed. The main way agencies
support diversity is through training and regular reporting.
Just under 50% of agencies promote diversity as a way of
achieving greater innovation and improving service quality,
with 4% reporting this as a highly developed practice.
Another 40% recognise the need to promote diversity, with
implementation either planned or commenced.
Perceptions recorded in the People Matter survey are
generally positive about equity and diversity in the public
sector (See Figure 6).
Figure 6: Employee perceptions of equity and diversity
Employees who are Aboriginal, have a disability, speak
a language other than English at home or provide care
for others outside of work reported having less equal
employment opportunities than colleagues who did not
identify with any of these groups. These findings are
consistent with the 2012 People Matter survey findings.
A comparison of the Agency and People Matter surveys
found few links between well-developed practices in
agencies and related scores in the People Matter survey.
While it would be unwise to assume this means practices
are ineffective, the results highlight the need for closer
evaluation of the success of agency policies and practices.
10. Corporate Leadership Council (2013), Creating Competitive Advantage through workforce diversity
11. Deloitte et al (2012), Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup? A new recipe to improve business performance