Equal Employment Opportunity Annual Report – 1996 Executive Summary

This is the ninth annual report prepared by the Reserve Bank on its equal employment opportunity program.

The Bank's program involves the development, implementation and monitoring of EEO Plans. 1995/96 is the third year of the current EEO Plan. The principles underlying this plan are to ensure that individual worth is respected, that decisions in relation to staff are based on merit and that all staff are afforded appropriate opportunities to advance and to enhance their skills and experience. Objectives for the program have been set in six main areas of personnel management – staff selection, career development, staff training, staff appraisal, health and safety, and conditions of employment.

Broad corporate responsibility for ensuring that these objectives are achieved rests with the Bank's EEO Policy Committee and the Personnel Policy Department. The current plan also reflects a clear delegation of responsibility and accountability for EEO issues to operational management, reinforcing the notion that EEO is an integral part of day-to-day operations. Delegation has been achieved through the creation of EEO plans for each department and branch, the identification of local initiatives and, where relevant, the establishment of local objectives.

A broad range of indicators has been selected to monitor the progress of the designated EEO groups in line with overall EEO objectives. These indicators include salaries, classification levels, occupational groups and staff movements. Data are also maintained on training and development activities, and retention rates following parental leave.

During the past year, staff numbers declined marginally after several years of significant decreases associated with restructuring. Staff numbers have halved since EEO benchmarks were first established in 1987. This has made comparative analysis more difficult but has not deterred the continued active implementation of the Bank's EEO program. Initiatives during the past year include improved access for staff to information on selection procedures and training opportunities; improved monitoring of selection panel composition; and reviews of part-time work and grievance procedures. A new in-house management development program was also launched.

The proportion of women in management positions has doubled to 15% over the past five years. The representation and status of people from non-English speaking backgrounds continues to increase gradually – overall, 23% of staff are from non-English speaking backgrounds. This year, for the first time, the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has reached 1% of the total. The representation of people with disabilities also increased slightly.

Perhaps more important, however, than these positive statistics, is the ongoing commitment to achieve equality of opportunity for all staff, and the many individual actions that have been taken across the Bank to realise this.