SSI is undertaking steps to ensure the diversity and inclusion embedded in our service delivery is also reflected in our inclusive workforce and culture.
That process began two years ago, when we came to the realisation that, just because our workforce was culturally and linguistically diverse, it didn’t mean it was inclusive. There was also scope to ensure it was diverse in all senses of the meaning.
Since then, we’ve been working to ensure inclusion is the norm — that everyone who works at SSI can bring their whole self to work and receive respect, acceptance and support. At present, this diversity and inclusion (D&I) work only encompasses SSI but, as our merger and integration progresses, we expect to incorporate Access too.
To date, we’ve taken incremental steps in order to create sustainable culture change. One of our biggest achievements has been a significant improvement in the inclusive culture staff experience at work each day. This was demonstrated in our 2019 staff engagement survey, where D&I lifted from one of the lowest performing areas to one of the top five strengths.
of staff are from a CALD background
languages spoken by staff
An average of 300 community members gave up their time each month to make a meaningful contribution in local communities during 2018-19.
SSI’s Volunteer Program has positions for volunteers, students and new-graduates that reflect the diversity of our programs and the ambition of individuals we support. In 2018-19, our 45 different volunteer roles ranged from experienced industry experts helping budding entrepreneurs through to school readiness assistants connecting newly arrived families with their local community.
Volunteers are treasured members of our workforce, so it is our priority to invest in keeping them informed, upskilled and meaningfully engaged. In 2018-19, for example, we appointed a part-time trainer who facilitates workshops for volunteers that reflect the scope of their roles, duties and interests. This means volunteers are appropriately skilled and confident to undertake the tasks assigned to them.
My volunteering experience has reiterated what I have always believed about people – that wherever we come from in the world and whatever language we speak … we are still more similar than we are different. To have been reminded of this, through my volunteering at SSI, has been a gift.