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The Library has a richly diverse mix of staff, including strong workforce representation of women, people with disability and people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We are focused on maintaining our diverse workforce and nurturing ongoing diversity through providing a working environment for all staff which is inclusive, safe and where all staff are treated with respect.
As a national cultural institution, the Library takes responsibility for the custodianship and preservation of national cultural heritage as represented in our collections. In many ways, we demonstrate leadership in the management and development of cultural documentation. The diversity of our collections requires us to extend this leadership to ensuring diversity among the staff who help in the development, management and preservation of these items.
The diversity of the Library’s workforce is one of our greatest strengths. We recognise that diversity of perspectives and our ability to continually adapt and evolve assists us to meet the needs and requirements of the community and the cultural assets we hold.
Fostering this environment encourages all staff to reach their potential.
What is meant by diversity?
Diversity in the Library’s context generally includes aspects and qualities that can make us distinct from each other such as gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious belief and family responsibilities. It can also include educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status.
The concept of workplace diversity includes the principle of equal employment opportunity (EEO). EEO policies address continued disadvantage experienced by particular groups of people in the workplace, including women, Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities and those who suffer disadvantage on the basis of race or ethnicity.
Workplace diversity involves recognising the value of individual differences and managing them in the workplace.
The Library’s strategy
To support diversity in the Library’s workforce there are several action plans in place including specific plans to create employment opportunities for Indigenous people and those with disability. There are also policies that support gender diversity and an ageing workforce, just to name a few.
These plans and policies have actions to reduce employment barriers and further enhance a tolerant and inclusive workplace. Below are some recent examples of initiatives that have contributed to diversity and equity at the Library:
- Including the utilisation of a diverse workforce as a fundamental capability in the Library’s Leadership Capability Model,
- Development of a dedicated website presence for Indigenous people to explore employment possibilities at the Library,
- Creation of guiding groups to focus on disability and Indigenous employment issues and champion solutions,
- Work experience program that targets students with disability and/or an Indigenous background.
The commitment of all of us to these strategies will ensure that we build on the progress we have already made in valuing diversity as well as continuing to create a work environment where new perspectives are uncovered; different knowledge and experience is tapped; and ideas and suggestions can be generated.