Build and retain a representative workforce

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Building a representative workforce is not easy; but retaining it is a challenge too. Understanding why your organisation might be failing to hold on to staff from underrepresented backgrounds is crucial to making change and making it stick.

Guidance to help you address any problems you uncover is out there – and it might also come from your own best assets – the people you employ.

How do I do it?

  • Listen to the experiences of underrepresented groups
  • Make use of employment networks, databases and directories who make diversity a priority
  • Study the guidance on authentically including staff from different cultural backgrounds
  • Invest in quality diversity training for staff at all levels
  • Make workplace readiness (also known as cultural safety) a focus; be prepared to transform the environment into one where bias and racism is drastically reduced and sensitivity toward all groups is embedded in the culture. Workplace support is key in retaining diverse staff
  • Investigate any biases in staff assessments and progression, and address them
  • Make meetings more inclusive
  • Investigate pay inequality in your organisation and commit to pay equity
  • Overhaul your complaint systems if it doesn’t work; ensure staff feel able to speak up without negative repercussions
  • Update your workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying policies
  • Be aware of the difficulties non-white staff face
  • Bring positive change through initiatives and programs that foster career opportunities and good staff relationships, such as mentor programs
  • Center the experiences of those who are more usually left on the margins

This website focuses on ethno-cultural, migrant, refugee and minority ethnic racial equity in the arts and creative sector. Working with First Nations communities and cultural material requires very specific frameworks, protocols and standards that this website does not attempt to address. Find out more.

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