Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2022


Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is about respecting and valuing the differing backgrounds, skills and experiences that everyone brings to our workplace.

To prepare young people to lead rewarding and productive lives in a complex and changing world we need to be truly inclusive and embrace differences so we can make sure every student is known, valued and cared for. Valuing difference will enable a workforce of the highest calibre and community confidence in public education is high.

This strategy takes into account and responds to the Government Sector Employment Act 2013. It aligns with the Department's Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2020, the Disability Strategy, the Multicultural Plan 2019-2022 (PDF 340.43KB), the Aboriginal Affairs Strategy including OCHRE, the Reconciliation Action Plan, the NSW Government's Aboriginal affairs plan and the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc. (NSW AECG) Partnership Agreement 2010-2020 (the Partnership Agreement) and the Great Place to Work program.

Our vision

This strategy aims to support the departmental goal; Education is a great place to work and our workforce is of the highest calibre.

Through the diversity of our workforce and recognising the individual skills, perspectives and experiences our people bring to our workplaces; we will position ourselves to do the best job we can for the students and communities of NSW.

Our values

Integral to this strategy are our department's values of Excellence, Equity, Accountability, Trust, Integrity and Service. Our aim is to achieve a workforce and culture where:

  • We respect and support all people to reach their full potential.
  • We embed universal design in our thinking and responses.
  • Diversity and inclusion is everyone's business.
  • We learn from everyone's experiences in the workplace.
  • We reflect the NSW community we serve.

Our priorities

Over the next five years we will:

  1. Build an inclusive workforce through employee awareness, understanding and engagement.
  2. Attract, recruit, develop and retain a workforce, which reflects the community we serve.
  3. Strengthen workforce data and evidence to inform sustainable decisions and initiatives.

Our commitment to action

We recognise that diversity encompasses the richness of our backgrounds and includes factors such as: age, carer responsibilities, culture, disability, educational level, gender identity, geographic location, life experiences, marital status, sexual orientation and socio-economic background. Our commitment is to foster a workplace with an inclusive culture, where people of diverse backgrounds are excited to bring all of who they are and do their best work.

As part of this commitment, there are areas of focus within the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy are informed by current workforce data, NSW Government priorities and a desire to better reflect the community we serve. As a NSW Government department, we adopt the Premier's priorities to drive public sector diversity and inclusion by 2025 through:

  • having 50 per cent of senior leadership roles held by women
  • increasing the number of Aboriginal people in senior leadership roles
  • ensuring 5.6 per cent of government sector roles are held by people with a disability.

Aboriginal people

We respect and value our Aboriginal People

Supporting Aboriginal people and communities with every interaction within the Education system remains a priority. Although we are on track to meet the existing Premier’s priorities target our goal is to increase the number of Aboriginal people across all position classifications within our workforce. Improving representation of Aboriginal people increases our opportunities to engage with students, families and communities and provide relevant and culturally appropriate services and support.

People with disability

We include by design

We will ensure our workplaces and systems are accessible and designed to enable and maximise participation and leadership opportunities for our employees with disability. We will achieve this through the removal of barriers to participation and embedding inclusive design in our thinking and responses. By doing so, we will increase the representation and inclusion of people with disability in our workforce.

Culturally and linguistically diverse

We reflect our communities

To support and deliver the best outcomes for our students, it is important that we reflect the community we serve. The department has continued to increase the number of employees from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. We aim to continue this by understanding and tackling systemic barriers to entry and progression, to help improve experiences for all our staff.

Women in leadership

We value diversity in our leadership

Gender diversity in senior leadership helps improve problem solving and collaboration and leads to higher organisational performance. Our aim is to maintain a gender balance at senior leadership levels. This will involve understanding the leadership pipeline and any structural barriers in place that may be impacting disproportionately on women’s progression into leadership roles.

Male teachers

We challenge the status quo

Workforce gender equality is shaped by the roles and norms we absorb throughout our life. Teachers play an important part in setting those norms, and we recognise that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. We have an obligation to address the gender imbalance in our teaching population, attracting and retaining more male teachers. Our goal is to understand the barriers currently perceived for entry as a male teacher and work with a range of people and organisations to start developing a targeted plan to overcome those barriers.

Our progress

We use workforce data and evidence such as People Matter Employee Survey results to inform sustainable decisions and drive inclusive initiatives which in turn develops a diverse workforce embedded in an inclusive culture. Our progress as of November 2019 is:

Areas of focus Our progress
Our targets

Aboriginal people - in senior leadership roles


Support the Premier’s target of at least 114 NSW public sector senior leadership roles across government filled by Aboriginal employees.

Aboriginal people


Maintain the trend growth rate to reach a 3.0% representation across the department by 2025

People with disability


5.6% representation by 2025

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)

New Measure

Increase the representation of CALD employees across the department

Women in leadership


Increase the representation of women in senior leadership roles to 60% by 2025

Male teachers


Increase the representation of male teachers

For more information, email dandi@det.nsw.edu.au


  • Education support operations
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