Diversity and inclusion plan 2023

Last updated: 24 February 2021

Introduction

SV is committed to providing a diverse and inclusive environment, enabling everyone to contribute and thrive. In simple terms it means recognising, understanding and celebrating that every individual is unique.

This plan positions SV to deliver on this commitment through education, engagement, collaboration and celebration. The plan is also designed to address the challenges and opportunities to grow a diverse and inclusive workforce, supporting SV2023 strategic priorities to achieve a circular, climate‐resilient economy.

The plan comprises six pillars – each focused on a specific diversity and inclusion area – that drive our priorities and actions. Each pillar requires leadership and responsibility of our people from across the organisation. Over the next three years, we will learn from, monitor and evaluate our progress, ensuring the plan remains relevant and responsive to our people, our organisation and the Victorian public service (VPS).

We are excited about the journey ahead during which we will embrace new ideas, collaborate, listen, respect and support each other and the community in which we live and work.

Diversity and inclusion at SV

Our purpose is to individually, and collectively, transform our workforce into one that is representative of the Victorian community. Our culture is one in which we are kind, respectful, inclusive and lead from the heart.

As leaders of equality we aspire to:

  • treat everyone fairly and without discrimination
  • advocate for each other
  • ensure everyone has a voice, respecting and celebrating freedom of thought.

Consistent with our responsibilities under the VPS Code of Conduct, we each apply the following values and behaviours in everything we do:

  • Responsiveness
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • Human rights

Diversity and inclusion pillars

This plan focuses on the following pillars:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion
  • Gender equality
  • LGBTQIA+ inclusion
  • All abilities
  • Youth and age
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity

These are explained in more detail below.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ inclusion

SV respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First Peoples and the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work here in Victoria. As the custodians of our environment for more than 60,000 years, SV recognises we have a great deal to learn about sustainability from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We also recognise that, as a Victorian Government statutory authority, we have a responsibility to help address the wrongs of the past. As a first step, SV is committed to engaging proactively with relevant Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups to determine how best we can make a meaningful contribution towards advancing reconciliation and indigenous inclusion within our sphere of influence.

Gender equality

SV recognises the importance of respect for all employees, regardless of gender identity. This includes ensuring our workforce and our ways of working are balanced and representative and delivering on our commitment to uphold equal opportunity and remuneration across all levels of the organisation. At the time of this plan’s development, women represent 69 per cent of our workforce and are well represented at the executive level. We will continue to work towards and then maintain a gender balance at all levels of the organisation. We will also continue to develop and uphold gender equality through the development and implementation of a Gender Equality Action Plan.

LGBTQIA+ inclusion

SV recognises the importance of LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the workplace. We are committed to ensuring our people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and people recognised under the ‘+’ category are empowered with equal opportunities across the organisation. We will identify initiatives that provide all LGBTQIA+ persons with a safe, engaged and diverse working environment, including the formation of an ally program. We will also engage with Victoria’s LGBTQIA+ community, continuing to support and participate in events that recognise and celebrate the contributions of people who identify as LGBTQIA+ to our community.

All abilities

The definition of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) is broad. It includes physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disability. SV is committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace that enables people of all abilities to realise their full potential and make valued contributions to our shared vision. We will achieve this by raising our people’s awareness of disability, including ‘invisible disability’. We will also implement improvements to our physical and digital environments to ensure people of all abilities have equal access to information.

Youth and age

SV is committed to having a diverse age profile that is representative of the Victorian community. Integrating more young voices and harnessing the wisdom of our mature workforce will ensure we can develop future leaders. We will do this by developing an emerging professionals’ program and instilling an intergenerational mentoring culture that also develops the talents of our mature age leaders.

Cultural and linguistic diversity

SV respectfully acknowledges the culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds of our people and is committed to providing a safe and inclusive working environment, ensuring CALD needs are met, recognised and celebrated.

Our diversity and inclusion objectives

SV recognises individuals may identify with one or more diversity and inclusion pillars and has developed objectives that are common to all pillars. These objectives are focused on three central themes: awareness; education and implementation; and engagement.

These objectives will entail a coordinated, strategic approach championed by the Diversity and Inclusion Network, and supported by working groups. (Appendix A details SV’s activity plan to achieve these objectives.)

Awareness:

  • SV provides a safe and inclusive workplace where diversity and inclusion is recognised and celebrated.
  • SV’s internal systems, processes and services better position it to be recognised as an employer of choice, attracting, retaining and developing people who identify as being a member of one or more of the diversity and inclusion pillars.

Education and implementation:

  • An education and awareness program for our people is developed and implemented that encompasses all diversity and inclusion pillars.

Engagement:

  • SV has established meaningful relationships and connections across the VPS and the Victorian community that encompass all of the diversity and inclusion pillars.

Each diversity and inclusion pillar reflects a different level of maturity, with some pillars already well established within the organisation and other pillars identified as a new priority. This is reflected in SV’s capacity to set additional objectives specific to each pillar:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion

  • Through consultation with relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups, an Acknowledgement of Country statement is developed and includes reference to sustainability. The Acknowledgement is communicated to our people and our external audiences.
  • Research is completed and opportunities identified to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion in our program design and project planning.

Gender equality

  • A four‐year Gender Equality Plan is developed and implemented in accordance with whole of Victorian Government requirements, and includes the outcomes of a workplace gender audit.
  • An audit of current gender representation of SV is completed and opportunities identified for greater equity in our internal and external engagement activities.
  • We will promote gender equality in the sustainability sector.

LGBTQIA+ inclusion

  • An ally program is established to support the development and inclusion of our people who identify as LGBTQIA+
  • SV continues to participate in Midsumma and explores opportunities for involvement in other Pride events across the VPS and community.

All abilities

  • An audit of our office environment is completed and opportunities identified for more equitable access and functionality for our people and visitors of all abilities.
  • All digital content published on SV’s channels meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standards.

Youth and age

  • Our workforce age profile is representative of the Victorian community.
  • An emerging professionals’ program is developed and implemented.

Cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD)

  • An audit and review of our CALD resources and services is completed to identify relevant priorities that contribute to broader diversity and inclusion objectives.
  • Opportunities are explored to establish a working group focused on CALD priorities.

Our roadmap

An overall roadmap for the Diversity and Inclusion Plan and specific plans for each pillar area have been developed and aligned with the diversity and inclusion objectives.

Planning and consultation

The Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2023 has been developed by a working group with broad representation from across the organisation. In developing this plan, the working group evaluated the outcomes of the 2017–19 Diversity and Inclusion Plan and sought feedback from our people. In addition, the working group conducted a peer review exercise across various public sector agencies and private entities.

Coordination

The working group operates as a Diversity and Inclusion Network, leading and championing the plan’s implementation. The network supports the establishment of employee representative groups under each pillar, in addition to existing working groups focused on gender equality and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ inclusion.

Monitoring and evaluation

The plan’s implementation will be regularly monitored by each working group, supported by quarterly reviews led by the Diversity and Inclusion Network. Our People and Culture team will also be engaged, as well as other organisational functions as required.

The plan’s progress and performance will be evaluated through a range of methods, including:

  • SV’s Pulse Check survey
  • Diversity and inclusion research undertaken as part of the plan
  • Ongoing feedback from all internal stakeholders, including our people, working groups, SV’s leadership and executive groups, and SV’s board.

Progress and performance outcomes will be included in a quarterly Diversity and Inclusion update that will be made available to our Executive Leadership Team, SV’s Board and the People, Culture and Remuneration Committee as required.

A formal evaluation report of the plan will be undertaken annually and at the plan’s conclusion in 2023.

Feedback

We would appreciate your feedback about this plan. To do so, please contact us.