Equity & Diversity Annual Report – 2005 Foreword

This is the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) eighteenth annual report as required under the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987.

The RBA's current Workplace Diversity Plan, the sixth, is a four-year plan, which builds on and broadens the principles of equal employment opportunity. It is based on the idea that good management practice entails not only equity in employment opportunity but also the recognition of diversity and appreciates the value of individual differences. The Plan is due for review in the next reporting period.

Equity in employment opportunity assists in addressing disadvantage experienced by particular groups in the workplace, including women, Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities and people from non-English speaking backgrounds. It also provides an important platform underpinning workplace diversity policies for gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious belief, and family responsibilities. Diversity covers all these areas, but also includes other ways in which people are different such as educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status.

A major focus in the past year was on enhancing the RBA's commitment to working parents, particularly women returning to work from parental leave. The Billabond Children's Centre is a new joint venture arrangement that allows staff using the centre to salary sacrifice childcare payments. To complement the centre a Parent Room has also been established at the RBA's Head Office.

Bob Rankin
Equity & Diversity Policy Committee