Queensland Government

Understanding the diversity of your organisation

Understanding your organisation's diversity is a key first step to building a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

A great way to do this is by developing a diversity profile. This profile outlines the diversity of staff within your organisation and your organisation's capacity to meet the needs of your staff, customers and clients from diverse backgrounds.

So, why should you do this?

Taking the time to compile a diversity profile (or re-visit and update your organisation's existing diversity profile) has several benefits:

  1. It allows your organisation to recognise the unique skills of staff who may currently be under-utilised. For example, this process may reveal you have bilingual staff who can be invaluable in a range of contexts, such as liaising with international, national and local stakeholders and clients.
  2. It provides the opportunity to identify staff needs and supports that may not be currently provided. For example, the need for additional cultural capability training for staff, or a need to have a clear company process for accessing interpreters for clients.

It allows your organisation to identify whether the diversity of staff aligns with the diversity of external stakeholders, customers, clients and audiences and whether changes need to be made to address any gaps. For example, if your client base is predominately from South East Asia, you may consider recruitment strategies to attract staff who are from South East Asian backgrounds.

Developing a diversity profile

Collecting data

As a first step, it is useful to undertake a survey of staff to collect some vital background data. It is important that staff understand how their information will be used and that their responses are completely confidential.

Some of the topics you might like to consider when collecting data could include:

  • cultural background
  • religious and gender identity
  • living with a disability
  • formal training or study
  • languages spoken at home
  • experience working overseas.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 Census data can be a useful source for helping to frame your questions. For example, a search of the types of statistics available, and data collection standards, might give you some ideas for collecting data relating to your organisation.

What to do with your data

As a second step, the data you have collected can then be used to develop a profile of your organisation's diversity. This can assist with your organisational planning, recruitment and cultural capability building, and to tailor your communications and marketing.

Your organisation may already have existing mechanisms in place, such as annual surveys.

You can also find ways to gather information about the cultural diversity of, and languages spoken by, staff at home through new employee orientation processes. This, along with other mechanisms, will allow staff diversity data to be collected on an ongoing basis and continue the journey towards a better understanding of your organisation as a whole.

Useful Links and Further Reading

The content in this section is intended as a guide only and was prepared with the assistance of Cultural Perspectives Pty Ltd.