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The Advantages of a Culturally Diverse Workforce Dr Peter Streker Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "The Advantages of a Culturally Diverse Workforce Dr Peter Streker Victorian Health Promotion Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Advantages of a Culturally Diverse Workforce Dr Peter Streker Victorian Health Promotion Foundation



4 Why does VicHealth focus on this? Victoria is more culturally diverse than ever Good health starts where we work, live and play Racial discrimination can damage health and opportunities for wellbeing Cultural diversity brings real benefits

5 Guiding framework Key contributing factors IndividualOrganisationalCommunitySocietal Themes for action Actions to reduce discrimination and support diversity Settings for action Intermediate outcomes IndividualOrganisationalCommunitySocietal Long term benefits IndividualOrganisationalCommunitySocietal


7 The Research Almost 1 in 5 Australians has experienced race-based discrimination in the workplace. Systemic race-based discrimination in the workplace occurs through avoidable and unfair differences in recruitment and promotion selection and interviewing job allocation performance evaluation training remuneration dismissal Trenerry, Franklin & Paradies (2012)

8 The financial costs of discrimination Resolving serious discrimination and harassment grievances through formal processes approx $55,000 per case. (NSW Dept of Premier & Cabinet ) Approx 70% of workers exposed to violence, harassment and discrimination take time off work

9 Physical & mental health benefits Strong evidence that RBD leads to – higher rates of ill health, especially mental health and wellbeing problems such as anxiety, depression, stress and poor quality of life. – People reporting RBD more likely to be overweight or obese and engage in behaviours that cause poor health [e.g. smoking] Productivity Commission found - mental health and nervous conditions, have largest impact on increasing workforce participation when addressed.

10 Innovation & Problem Solving If diversity is well managed: enhanced creativity, flexibility and problem solving skills. More effective at working with culturally distinct clients & colleagues Adler & Gunderson (2008)

11 More than reducing race-based discrimination Supporting cultural diversity means respecting the different ways of living and valuing diversity as an asset.

12 Maximising benefits from cultural diversity: 1.Explicitly commit to racial equality and anti- discrimination in mission, values, goals, policies etc 2.Ensure job advertisements and application information accessible to people from diverse cultural backgrounds 3.Specific policies and procedures for responding to RBD - include clear examples of unacceptable practices behaviours.

13 Creating a Wave of Action through Partnerships

14 The Wave of Research 1.Research: Bystander Effects on Children Benefits of Cultural Diversity Socialisation & racism Costs of racism Cyber-racism Experiences of racism

15 Community Trials 2.Local Government: LEAD Municipal Association of Victoria 3.Arts Arts About Us Social Connections Indigenous Arts program

16 Community Trials 4.Sports Bystander & FFV Everyone Wins 5.Workplace Creating Healthy Workplaces – VEOHRC & AMES Australian Human Rights Commission & Diversity Council of Australia audit trial

17 Multi-layered Communications 6.Communications Evidence Reviews Summaries Media campaigns Arts performances Social Media

18 7.Evaluations 8.Tools & Guides 9.Training courses 10.Workshops & Forums Multi-layered Communications

19 For further information, go to

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