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Department of State Growth

State Growth Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2025

Acknowledgement of Country

As we build our skills and capabilities in creating a safe, respective, and inclusive workplace at State Growth, we acknowledge the cultural practices embedded for all time within Tasmanian Aboriginal ownership of Country. We humbly pay our respects to Elders, past and present, for they hold the memories, the knowledge, the culture, and hopes of Aboriginal Tasmania.

Message from the Secretary

I am pleased to present the Department of State Growth’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-25.  Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our value and culture and have been since our department was formed in 2014.

This strategy builds on the work we have done to date and outlines the areas we will act on over the next three years to achieve a safe, inclusive, equal, respectful and representative workforce.  The aim is to create a greater sense of belonging at work for everyone, so that we can all bring our best selves to work.  Many of you have had a hand in shaping this strategy and are passionate about us delivering, so I want to ensure we make these goals a reality over the next three years.

While the strategy sets the direction for how we intend to make State Growth a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace, I want to reinforce why this is so important in 2022 and beyond.

  • First and foremost, it strengthens our connection with the Tasmanian community. As a government department, it’s vital that we keep pace with societal change and demonstrate leadership. A more diverse range of views and voices within State Growth helps us gain valuable insights into our clients, so that we are more in tune with the needs of the Tasmanian community at large. This in turn makes it easier to design and deliver effective and inclusive strategies, policies, programs and services that meet the community needs. It also gives a voice to traditionally excluded groups, encouraging greater collaboration and participation in our initiatives and stronger access to decision-making.
  • A more diverse and inclusive workforce enhances personal engagement, organisational performance and culture. The inclusion of different nationalities, cultures, perspectives, age groups, genders identities, religious and ethnic backgrounds and abilities, creates a richer, more well-rounded and more representative workplace. It boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover, and enables us to tap into a wider talent pool which also leads to greater innovation, creativity and problem solving.
  • Through diversity, equity and inclusion we are better placed strategically to embrace new opportunities that deliver on our purpose. A broader range of skills, talents and lived experiences means we are more agile enabling us to grow our services and anticipate issues and operational difficulties before they arise.

I know that along the way we face challenges and the changes we seek will take time, but the rewards are well worth it.  For us to succeed, everyone's buy in and support is vital.

Thank you to everyone who hascontributed to this strategy. As always, the Executive and I along with the People and Culture team are open to any new ideas or feedback, to continue to shape our journey.

Kim Evans

Secretary

Our strategy

Our vision is a safe, inclusive, equal, respectful and representative workplace.

In delivering our vision, we will work with employees who identify as LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer + other), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, with disability, from culturally diverse backgrounds, women, youth and mature aged workers to remove barriers to success.

Three action areas support our vision:

  1. A diverse and inclusive workforce – We reflect the diversity of the clients we serve. We are supported to deliver inclusive services and programs to the Tasmanian community.
  2. A safe and respectful workplace – We feel safe to speak up, knowing we will be heard, respected, and supported.
  3. An inclusive workplace culture – Together we make State Growth a great place to work and are accountable for our actions.

Who are we?

State Growth is committed to building an inclusive workplace that reflects the diversity of the community we serve. We will continue to build on our workforce data, using it to monitor and identify areas which would benefit.

Some facts about us include:

  • 55% of our entire workforce is female, however only 39% of senior executive staff members are female (September 2021).
  • 6% of our workforce is casually employed; 42% are female and 58% are male.
  • 28% of our workforce works part-time; 74% are female and 26% are male.
  • 66% of our workforce works full-time; 48% are female and 52% male.
  • 47 is the average age of State Growth employees.  29% of employees are 51-60 years of age while 28% are between the ages of 41 and 50 years.
  • 44% of employees have worked for the Tasmanian State Service for 10 or more years.
  • State Growth does not currently have a system to record the full range of employee diversity data, however from our 2020 Employee Survey:
    • 5% of respondents identified that they have a disability.
    • 1% of respondents identifying as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.
    • 4% of State Growth staff identified their gender as ‘other’.
  • From our 2020 Employee Survey, 73% of employees agreed with the following statement: “My agency fosters an inclusive environment”.

Our Action Plan

Each of the Strategy’s three action areas has a range of initiatives that will move us towards achieving our vision of a safe, inclusive, equal, respectful, and representative workplace. These are outlined in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan which will be reviewed annually.

To ensure coverage, we have grouped our initiatives across the following types of actions:

  1. Attract, recruit, and retain – These actions aim to increase and retain talent representative of a wide range of diverse backgrounds within our workplace.
  2. Providing guidance and support – These actions aim to support our managers and employees by providing the underlying information, structures, strategies, and support mechanisms needed to be inclusive and equitable.
  3. Raising awareness – These actions aim to grow our understanding of, communicate, promote, and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  4. Building partnerships and engagement – These actions aim to connect with our people, experts, and our clients to learn and support, as well as shape our approach and actions.
  5. Building skills and capabilities – These actions aim to provide the underlying tools for our managers and employees to develop their knowledge, skills, and practice so that diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes second nature.
  6. Ensuring good governance and building evidence and accountability – These actions aim to build a strong foundation of leadership, resources and evidence to support and inform our work in this area.

Our approach

State Growth has a set of values that drive the way we do business.

Courage to make a difference through:

TEAMWORK – Our teams are diverse, caring, and productive.

EXCELLENCE – We take pride in our work and encourage new ideas to deliver public value.

INTEGRITY – We are ethical and accountable in all we do.

RESPECT – We are fair, trusting, and appreciative.

Building on these values, to be inclusive and equitable we want our people to be courageous and make a difference by:

  • creating diverse teams that are connected, where people feel they belong, are valued and respected
  • being open to new and different perspectives, actively engaging with our diverse employees and stakeholders to learn from experiences and encourage new ideas
  • valuing diverse thinking, resulting in ethical and accountable decision making that supports excellence and integrity in the work we deliver
  • making space for people and being open and curious, where we trust and appreciate different perspectives without judgement.

Our journey to achieving our vision

There are four stages to inbuilding diversity, equity, and inclusion into an organisation’s way of working:

Stage 1 - Building the foundation and establishing what we know. In this stage organisations are getting started and building their awareness around diversity, equity, and inclusions. Here, difference is ignored or tolerated.

Stage 2 - Establishing our purpose.  In this stage organisations determine their vision and plan how to achieve it, as well as creating conditions for change.  Here, difference is accepted.

Stage 3 - Changing our mindset.  In this stage organisations take action to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion, including building an inclusive culture. Here, difference in thought is valued.

Stage 4 - Making diversity, equity, and inclusion part of the way we do business. In this stage, D,E&I are part of everyday practice. Organisations reap the benefits of diversity and inclusion, such as greater talent, high performing teams, and an inclusive workplace culture. Here difference is actively embraced.

At State Growth, we are well on our journey to achieving a safe, inclusive, equal, respectful, and representative workplace.  In 2022 wecurrently sitt between stages 2 and 3.

We are proud of the in-roads we have already achieved and have established a strong foundation for our future efforts, by:

  • establishing the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Leadership Group, comprised of senior leaders, who lead and promote our aspirations and role model inclusive behaviours
  • reinvigorating our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, comprised of employees from across our organisation, who bring diverse voices and take action
  • listening to our people through extensive consultations on diversity, inclusion, respect and gender equality, including through the formation of this Strategy and Action Plan
  • continuing to review and promote our employment policies and structures that support all employees to work flexibly and have equitable access and opportunity
  • achieving White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation to the highest standard
  • commencing the implementation of the Our Watch Workplace Equality and Respect Standards.

We know that working towards diversity, equity and inclusion being part of the way we do business will take time and is an ongoing journey. However, through this Strategy and Action Plan we have a clear path ahead of us.

As we progress, we move from the expectation that diversity, equity, and inclusion are an organisational responsibility to the realisation that we are all responsible. This next stage requires a collective effort from all of us as we move to change our mind set and build an inclusive culture.

We will review our actions annually and measure cultural change impact every 2-3 years to guide and adjust our Strategy and priorities where needed.

References

State Growth's membership of the following organisations further strengthens our workplace diversity and inclusion policies and strategies:

We work together to affect change for all Tasmanians through the following Tasmanian Government initiatives:

Department of Communities Tasmania

  • Accessible Island: Tasmanian's Disability Framework for Action 2018-2021
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer + (LGBTIQ+) Tasmanians
  • Resetting the Relationship with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community

Department of Premier and Cabinet

  • Gender Diversity in the State Service
  • Tasmanian State Service Aboriginal Employment Strategy
  • The State Service Diversity and Inclusion Framework

Copyright notice and disclaimer

Copyright in this publication is owned by the Crown in Right of Tasmania, represented by the Department of State Growth.

Information in this publication is intended for general information only and does not constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. No representation or warranty is made as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any information in this publication. Readers should make their own enquiries and seek independent professional advice before acting on or relying upon any of the information provided.

The Crown, its officers, employees, and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon information in this publication.

© State of Tasmania February 2022