Equity & Diversity Annual Report – 2006 Foreword

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

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.

In the past year, a new Workplace Diversity Plan 2006–2008 has been developed, in consultation with diversity contact managers and the RBA's wider staff. The initiatives in the new plan continue to be based around the five key principles of the Australian Government's disability strategy – equity, inclusion, participation, access and accountability. The new plan also includes for the first time the key area of age, with specific initiatives covering attraction and retention of older workers. It also incorporates disability action initiatives, which were previously embodied in a separate Access & Equity plan. The Plan's initiatives are outlined in section 4 of this report.

I am pleased to report that during the past year the RBA has continued to enhance its commitment to diversity through policies that support working parents as well as staff more generally, training programs that directly support the diversity plan, and identification of new ways to improve the workplace for its staff with disabilities.

Signature of Bob Rankin, Chairperson, Equity & Diversity Policy Committee

Bob Rankin
Equity & Diversity Policy Committee