Workforce Diversity

The Workforce Diversity Policy is a commitment by the department to create a workplace that is fair and inclusive and build a workforce which better reflects the diversity of our students, parents and the NSW community.

Changes since previous version

2024 Feb 19 - Updated text around inclusivity and LGBTQIA+.

Document history

2022 Aug 12 - updated links in policy statement.

2020 Jul - minor updates to contact details, text, style and formatting to policy and removal of all date expired implementation documents. Repaired broken links to a number of related document.

The following implementation documents have been removed as all expired at the end of 2017:

  • Aboriginal Human Resources Development Plan 2012-2017 (PDF 3716.72 KB)
  • Strategic Human Resources Plan 2012-2017 (PDF 3264.67 KB)
  • Workforce Diversity Plan 2012-2017 (PDF 1468.91 KB).

The following DEC related documents have been replaced with up to date versions:

  • DEC's Online EEO survey
  • DEC's Workforce Diversity intranet page.

Superseded documents


  1. Policy statement
    1. Commitment
      • The Department of Education recognises that our staff are our greatest asset and aims to attract and retain people with diverse skills, experience and background to deliver high-quality education and training services. A workforce that reflects the diversity of our students, parents/carers and communities will be better able to understand the needs of its customers and be able to offer responsive services to communities.
      • The department respects people as individuals and values their differences. It is committed to creating a working environment that is fair and flexible, promotes personal and professional growth, and benefits from the capabilities of its diverse workforce.
      • The Workforce Diversity policy guides the development and implementation of relevant plans, programs and initiatives that recognise and promote workforce diversity across all work areas of the department.
      • All NSW Department of Education policies are inclusive of staff of all ages, genders and cultures, veterans, refugees, carers, people of faith, people with disability, LGBTQIA+ people, as well as their families, where relevant.
    2. Definition
      • Diversity in the context of the department primarily refers to the equal employment opportunity (EEO) groups under-represented in our workforce. These groups include: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people; people with disability; members of racial, ethnic and ethno-religious minority groups; young people under 25; and women in senior leadership roles.
      • Other dimensions of diversity include age diversity, carer/family responsibilities, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.
      • The department embraces workforce diversity as a source of strength. This is not only about increasing visible differences in the workforce, but more importantly it is about the strategic advantage that comes from incorporating a wide variety of capabilities, ideas and insights in our decision-making, problem solving, policy development and service delivery. This gives expression to a key priority of the department's Strategic Plan 2018-2022 'We will innovate and undertake continual improvement to respond to the changing needs of the people of New South Wales. We will develop our staff and support them in delivering excellence.'
      • The principles of EEO remain an important foundation for the Workforce Diversity policy, plans, programs and initiatives. The EEO principles aim to: ensure that staff are selected for positions on merit; provide equitable access to employment, professional development and workplace participation for people who are under-represented in our workforce; and ensure that workplaces are free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment.
    3. Objectives
      1. The Workforce Diversity policy provides a framework for the department to achieve:
        • a diverse and skilled workforce that reflects the diversity of our students, parents/carers and the NSW community and leads to better engagement with communities across NSW to deliver responsive customer service
        • a workplace culture that fosters inclusive practices and behaviours for the benefit of all staff, the public education and training system and communities across NSW
        • improved employment and career development opportunities for people who are under-represented in our workforce through specific programs and initiatives. Refer to the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2022
        • a work environment that values and utilises the contributions of employees with diverse skills, backgrounds, experiences and educational levels through improved awareness of the benefits of workforce diversity and successful management of diversity
        • awareness in all staff of their rights and responsibilities with regards to equity, integrity and respect for all aspects of diversity.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. The Workforce Diversity policy applies to all staff employed by the department, contractors and people applying for employment.
    2. Programs funded by the department will operate in line with this policy.
  3. Context
    1. The policy mandates the development and implementation of strategic directions of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2022. The diversity of our leaders and staff will enhance their capacity to engage with and respond to NSW communities.
    2. The policy has been developed in the context of Part 9A of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and is consistent with key legislation including:
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. The Secretary and other senior staff including senior executives, senior officers, principals, managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing and monitoring the progress of the Workforce Diversity policy objectives through the monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms listed below.
    2. All staff have responsibilities to support and respect equity, workplace diversity, ethical practices, workplace safety and to help prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment or bullying in their workplaces.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Executive Director, People and Culture will monitor the scope and currency of this policy and is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness, at least every three years.
    2. All work areas of the department are responsible for implementing, monitoring and reporting on the achievements of the strategic directions of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2022. This information will be presented in the EEO section of the Annual Report.
    3. The effectiveness of this policy will be evaluated annually by all work areas and measured by the EEO statistics extracted from the department's workforce profile.
    4. Senior staff including senior executives, senior officers, principals, managers and supervisors should encourage all employees to complete the online EEO survey (staff only) which is an important mechanism for capturing the data on workforce diversity.
    5. All work areas of the department are responsible for promoting, monitoring and reporting of their progress of the workforce diversity.
  6. Contact

    Lead, Diversity and Inclusion
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