Leading for Change 2016

With only 68% of us coming from an-Anglo-Celtic background, Australians should be able to expect our leaders to reflect the diversity of our community. Sadly, it’s not the case.

A new report released by the Australian Human Right Commission (AHRC) has found that in the public service, 82% of heads of departments and secretaries are Anglo-Celtic, while 77% of our ASX 200 CEOs hail from an Anglo-Celtic background, and only 5% are non-European. Universities get a bad report card too with no non-Europeans at all serving as vice-chancellors.

The report, Leading for Change: A blueprint for cultural diversity and inclusive leadership, developed by the AHRC in partnership with the University of Sydney Business School, Westpac, PwC Australia and Telstra, spotlights the cultural composition of Australia’s private and public-sector leaders.

It is the first snapshot of its kind and goes beyond analysis of the statistics to offer organisations real tools for change. It provides practical advice drawn from organisations that have successfully diversified their leadership.

Top tips include:

  1. Skin in the game: leaders must get personally involved to create momentum

  2. Measuring success: gathering data is critical to change

  3. Accountability and targets: diversity must be embedded in key goals and strategies

  4. Dealing with discrimination: prejudice can be countered with training and education

  5. Professional development: empowerment, mentoring and sponsorship of diverse talent is key

Diversity Arts welcomes the practical strategies offered by this report which are applicable to arts organisations large and small. Download it here.