Equity & Diversity Annual Report – 2013 Introduction

This is the 26th Equity & Diversity Annual Report of the Reserve Bank of Australia (the Bank), as required under section 9 of the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987. The reporting period covers 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

Approach to Diversity

The Bank aims to embed equity, diversity and inclusion principles in its work practices and organisational environment. To ensure that these practices remain appropriate, the Bank annually reviews its workforce diversity profile, the take-up of its existing policies and programs, as well as any relevant external developments. This analysis also underpins the initiatives set out in the Bank's newly developed Diversity Plan 2012–2015. The four priorities of the Plan are to:

  • raise awareness of unconscious bias within the workplace to promote the quality of employment-related decision-making
  • facilitate access to flexible work arrangements
  • understand the factors influencing the career experience of women
  • explore the needs of the maturing workforce, and use that information to assist in workplace planning and corporate knowledge retention.

The priorities reflect the expanded coverage of diversity over time due to legislative and societal changes and a greater emphasis on workplace culture and values.

The layout of this Annual Report reflects these priorities, as well as the need to focus on the designated groups defined in the Act – women, people with a disability, people of a non-English speaking background and Indigenous Australians.

Responsibility for Equity and Diversity

The Bank's Diversity & Inclusion Policy Committee is a consultative body which includes representatives from management, employees, Human Resources and the Finance Sector Union. The Committee makes recommendations on equity and diversity matters to the Governor, and is responsible for monitoring the development and implementation of equity and diversity initiatives. The Committee reports annually on these matters to the Governor and the Bank's executive management. The Terms of Reference for the Committee and its membership are set out in the Appendices.

Responsibilities also extend beyond the Committee:

  • Executive management is responsible for the implementation of equity, diversity and inclusion activities and performance within their areas.
  • All employees are required to ensure that their actions in the workplace are consistent with the Bank's equity, diversity and inclusion principles.
  • Human Resources provides specialist advice as well as support to assist in the development and implementation of the Bank's Diversity & Inclusion Program.
  • Diversity Contact Managers are responsible for monitoring the implementation of diversity initiatives in their respective departments (which they report to the Committee), and for acting as intermediaries between the Committee and employees.
  • The Accessibility Consultative Group makes practical suggestions for improvements to the accessibility of computing systems, information and building facilities. Representatives of this body are drawn from relevant departments (namely Information Technology, Information Department, Facilities Management Department and Human Resources) and other interested employees.

Promoting Diversity

For equity, diversity and inclusion principles to be integrated into all work practices, employees must be well informed about the Bank's diversity-related policies and relevant legislation. The Bank strives to achieve this through contemporary policies, training and awareness-raising initiatives. The Bank keeps up to date on external equity and diversity matters through its diversity memberships and accreditations, to ensure its Diversity Program remains current. During the reporting period, the Bank participated in various activities of the Diversity Council Australia, an independent, not-for-profit diversity adviser to businesses in Australia. The Bank also renewed its membership with the Australian Network on Disability (a not-for-profit organisation which aims to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of employment) and the NSW Equal Employment Opportunity Practitioners' Association. The Bank was also re-accredited as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Policy initiatives

During the year the Bank reaffirmed its values through a revised Code of Conduct, which emphasises the principle of diversity and inclusion, including the harnessing of individual differences and diversity of thought. A specific reference to Respect, aims to reinforce expected workplace behaviours that ensure employees treat each other with courtesy and actively value each other's views and contributions.

Training and awareness

The Bank actively promoted diversity through its leadership development programs to executive and senior management, including ethical decision-making workshops and unconscious bias and inclusive leadership programs. These programs support expected workplace behaviours and assist managers in embedding the Bank's values.

During the reporting period, the Bank ensured that all employees are appropriately trained in their equity and diversity responsibilities. All employees completed training on the Code of Conduct and an online module on Workplace Behaviours, which reviews the Bank's values, expected workplace behaviours, roles and responsibilities, anti-discrimination legislation and the Bank's Diversity & Inclusion Program.

The Bank also raises equity and diversity awareness as part of the induction process for all new employees, which includes the Bank's Code of Conduct, workplace behaviour and ethical decision-making training.

The Grievance Contact Officer network was promoted to all staff, including the addition and training of new members. Grievance Contact Officers received training in handling grievances, helping to bring them up to date with recent legislative changes.

Information on diversity is published within the Bank in a number of ways. These include face-to-face awareness sessions on diversity-related issues, topical articles in the monthly employee magazine, Currency, and the advertising of events in the weekly communications publication, This Week. Policy changes are communicated to staff as they occur via the newsletter, Staff Matters. Diversity-related policies, programs and resources, such as the Bank's Diversity Plan, the Equity & Diversity Annual Report, recordings of training workshops and guides for employees on diversity matters are available on the Bank's intranet page.

Data Collection

Equity and diversity information is sought from employees when they commence employment at the Bank. It is provided on a voluntary basis, and includes information on disability, ethnic origin and proficiency in languages other than English. The Bank's equity and diversity statistics are based primarily on these data, which represent 92 per cent of employees who have disclosed their diversity details.

For potential employees of the Bank, the job application form contains an equity and diversity questionnaire, which allows the Bank to acquire a better understanding of the applicants from a diversity perspective, and to facilitate any reasonable adjustments that might be required, both during the recruitment process and subsequent employment.

The Reserve Bank's Diversity Profile

At the end of June 2013, the Reserve Bank employed 1,115 staff,[1] an increase of 6 per cent from a year earlier. Most diversity groups have maintained a fairly constant share of employment at the Bank over the past decade (Graph 1). The exception to this has been an increase in employees from a non-English speaking background and a slight decrease of employees with a disability. Further information is provided in Section 2of this Report.


Includes locally employed staff in overseas offices. [1]