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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Chapter 1 – Building Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Framework

As at 30 June 2018, there were 3,540 people under the age of 30 working in the State Service. This is 11.67 per cent of our total workforce.

In November 2017, as part of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Framework, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)’s State Service Management Office (SSMO) appointed a Senior Consultant, Diversity and Inclusion to coordinate activities under the Policy and Framework. This appointment allows us to progress a number of commitments that will support workforce diversity across the Tasmanian State Service (TSS).

In partnership with DPAC’s Communities, Sport and Recreation (CSR) division, SSMO commenced work on the Active Ageing Project to investigate the opportunities and challenges facing TSS workers aged 50 years and over, in support of CSR’s Strong, Liveable Communities: Tasmania’s Active Ageing Plan 2017-2022. The results of the Project, which includes data obtained through an online survey and one-on-one interviews, will provide insights into the workforce needs and intentions of employees in this age category as well as inform the development of employment initiatives and policies to support the needs of an ageing workforce. The final Project report is expected to be delivered in late 2018.

In 2018, SSMO commenced the Supporting Carers in the TSS Project, which aims to support carers in the TSS by developing, as an initial step, a whole-of-service Resource Kit. The Kit will provide information, advice, support and referral information for employees, officers, team leaders and managers. This body of work has involved CSR and supports the Tasmanian Carer Action Plan 2017-2020. Community stakeholders have also been consulted. It is anticipated that the Resource Kit will be finalised in late 2018.

We continued to work on the development and implementation of whole-of-service initiatives under CSR’s Disability Framework for Action, as well as exploring other opportunities to improve outcomes for Tasmanians with disability. TSS activities this year included:

  • delivering unconscious bias and diversity awareness programs;
  • developing draft toolkits to support more inclusive recruitment practices; and
  • adopting the Workplace Adjustment Policy Template to support people who require a workplace adjustment.

As well as working to implement strategies under the TSS Diversity and Inclusion Framework, there were a number of initiatives developed and implemented by agencies during 2017-18, including:

  • launching of a disability awareness elearning package;
  • closed-captioning of elearning courses;
  • improving the accessibility of agency websites;
  • participating in Auslan familiarisation sessions; and
  • participating in days of significance, e.g. International Day of People with Disability.

Aboriginal Employment Strategy

In October 2017, consultation sessions were held with Aboriginal community members around the State to provide information to support the drafting of initiatives and identifying focus areas within the Aboriginal Employment Strategy. These highly valuable and engaging sessions were led on behalf of SSMO by Ms Caroline Spotswood, Head of Service, Riawunna Centre of Aboriginal Education, University of Tasmania (UTAS), who is also a respected member of the Aboriginal community. The draft Strategy includes focus areas aimed at supporting and increasing workforce participation, including:

  • providing workplaces that are culturally safe, inclusive and celebrate Aboriginal culture;
  • building a workforce that reflects the community it serves, particularly in front-line service delivery roles;
  • attracting and recruiting more Aboriginal people; and
  • providing development and career pathways, and networking opportunities for Aboriginal employees.

The draft Strategy is currently undergoing final consultation, and is anticipated to be released in the second half of 2018.

In partnership with the University of Tasmania the Department of Premier and Cabinet provided internship placements for students in 2017-18.

Diversity in Employment

To increase diversity and inclusion in the TSS, agencies developed policies and programs to support increased employment opportunities for all members of the community, including:

  • targeting recruitment to increase diversity in front-facing roles;
  • providing training on the recruitment of volunteers from culturally and linguistically different backgrounds;
  • promoting flexible working arrangements when recruiting;
  • offering identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traineeship and internship roles;
  • providing training on unconscious bias and participating in the Human Library; and
  • participating in the Whole-of-Service Graduate Recruitment Program and providing traineeships and cadetships.

Youth Employment Pilot

In 2017-18 our pilot School to Work Youth Employment Program was launched in partnership with The Beacon Foundation. This Program has made up to 15 school-based trainee or apprenticeship positions available to students in years 11 and 12, or who are completing year 12 and want to take up a post-school apprenticeship or traineeship.

DPAC, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment and the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority are the first five agencies to be involved in the pilot Program.

In partnership with the University of Tasmania the Department of Premier and Cabinet provided internship placements for students in 2017-18.

These agencies offered positions to students from disadvantaged, regional areas in a variety of careers, including:

  • Customer Service;
  • School Support;
  • Horticulture;
  • Administration;
  • Kitchen Operations;
  • Payroll and Human Resources (HR); and
  • Wildlife and Fisheries.

Whole-of-Service Graduate Recruitment Program

In 2017333 applications were received. 24 appointments were made.

In October 2017, SSMO advertised the second intake of the Whole-of-Service Graduate Recruitment Program, building on the success of the inaugural Program advertised in 2016.

As part of the 2017 recruitment process, six agencies participated in the Program, offering 24 vacancies in careers that included policy, finance, HR, information and communications technology (ICT) and facilities. DPAC made one position available for a graduate with disability.

This year’s program introduced greater flexibility for participating agencies to make subsequent selections and appointments following the completion of the initial offer process. Eligible applicants are added to a register where they can be considered for graduate opportunities that arise throughout the year. As a result of this process, the Graduate Officer (Human Resources/Industrial Relations) Fixed-term Employment Register was no longer required and was withdrawn in December 2017.

Gender Diversity in the State Service

As at 30 June 2018, there were 146 SES officers in the TSS: 39.04% were women; 60.96% were men.

As part of our commitment to making the TSS a diverse and inclusive workplace, this year we also focussed on exploring new opportunities to improve outcomes for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning (LGBTIQ) community who are working, or want to work, with us. In support of the whole-of-government Framework for LGBTIQ Tasmanians, and the associated Action Plan, SSMO continued drafting a toolkit to support greater workforce participation of the LGBTIQ community.

This year to support employees who identify as a gender other than male or female, we implemented an update to our Empower Human Resources Information System which included the gender option ‘other’. This update will provide us with more accurate collection, analysis and reporting of data about our diverse workforce. It is anticipated that a further update will be implemented during 2018-19 to allow employees to self-select their preferred gender through their agency’s Empower Self Service portal.

Gender Equality in Senior Leadership

Through 2017-18 we continued to work towards the goal of at least 40 per cent of the Senior Executive Service (SES) being women by 2020, a goal agreed to by all Heads of Departments in the Gender Diversity in the State Service paper released in August 2016.

In October 2017, SSMO partnered with the University of New South Wales (Canberra) Public Service Research Group in a multi-jurisdictional research project to learn more about staff perceptions and experiences of gender equality, and how it can be improved. In May 2018, SSMO ran a survey of gender equality in the TSS, attracting responses from 2,377 employees. This was followed-up with interviews with 16 women across the Service to collect their stories and celebrate women working in the TSS. The final report of what was discovered is due to be delivered in July 2018.

This year we also piloted the ‘Confidence to Lead’ program for women in the SES, aimed at building the confidence of senior women to be heard and to influence discussions. This program was presented in partnership with the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Corporate. This program is in addition to another targeted course ‘Being Bold: how women can improve their power and influence in the public sector’ which was offered by DPAC’s Tasmanian Training Consortium (TTC) in conjunction with the Swinburne Institute.

The Women Supporting Women Network (WSW), formed in 2016, provides opportunities for women in the TSS to meet, network, develop skills and hear stories from other women across the public sector. Following the successful first two-day forum in May 2017, the TTC and SSMO supported the WSW by facilitating a ‘Lunch with Christine Nixon’, in November 2017.

Agencies supported gender equality through activities that included participating in International Women’s Day activities, establishing Gender Inequality Reporting, and developing and implementing action plans to support gender equality in leadership.

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