Victoria Police has undertaken some significant work since the release of the 2018 Framework and associated action plans.
We will maintain the momentum gained from our ongoing relationship with VEOHRC which led to a more knowledgeable workforce with increased expertise and capability to drive inclusion initiatives, with a greater focus on intersectionality.
Victoria Police’s commitment to transforming its approach to gender equality and diversity through the use of evidence-based outcomes was demonstrated in 2020 by the creation of a dedicated Gender Equality and Inclusion Command. This commitment to maintaining an internal centre of excellence dedicated to equality, diversity and inclusion, continues in 2022 through the funding of a permanent Gender Equality and Inclusion Division integrated into the newly created Human Resources Command (HRC).
We deliver this Framework on the back of progress in all areas of diversity and inclusion with some key achievements across each portfolio.
Silver Employer Australian Workplace Equality Index 2021
Celebrating excellence in LGBTIQ workplace inclusion silver employer 2021 from the Australian Workplace Equality Index.
The Australian Workplace Equality Index is Australia's definitive national benchmark on LGBTQ workplace inclusion produced annually by Pride in Diversity.
Why is this still a problem?
Despite some significant achievements since 2018, Victoria Police acknowledges that overall progress in workforce diversity and inclusion has been limited, with disparate levels of improvement across portfolios.
Whenever there is progress towards diversity and inclusion, some dominant groups can resist change and attempt to hinder or impede progress. Independent evaluations of the 2018–2021 LGBTIQ, CALD, Aboriginal, and Accessibility strategies and action plans provided the organisation with some common themes and insights into where gaps and barriers continue to exist.
Most notably, the evaluations pointed to issues of culture, safety, governance, and leadership as most problematic in hindering progress. This is consistent with what we have heard from our employee representative groups and through our People Matter Survey results.
Awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion across the organisation remains limited.
Entrenched systems and structures have continued to favour select groups while creating multiple and complex barriers for others.
Although our inclusion initiatives have made a positive contribution, pervasive dominant cultural issues continue to harm our diverse employees.
Systems and processes that aim to support workplace safety are limited in capability and lack culturally appropriate responses.
Provision of generic services for employee wellbeing and workplace harm complaints has contributed to concerns for the safety of employees in diverse groups.
An absence of strong governance around diversity and inclusion within Victoria Police has hampered progress and slowed decision-making.
Evaluations of the previous strategies and action plans were consistent in highlighting the need for a comprehensive governance and authorising framework to support diversity and inclusion and drive transformational change.
Diversity and inclusion capability at all levels of leadership across the organisation remains low.
This has contributed to maintaining a culture of status quo and reduced the reach and impact of previous actions. Beyond the four areas highlighted, there is recognition that discrimination, bias and unequal access to opportunity exist for many of our employees.
Career advancement for diverse employees continues to be hampered by barriers across the employee lifecycle. These issues are complex, engrained and are interlinked across all aspects of the organisation. Achieving a truly diverse workplace and inclusive organisation requires a long-term commitment.
7% of employees that experienced discrimination submitted a complaint.
66% of employees agree that senior leaders actively support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Source: Leadership & Safety – People Matter Survey 2021
In 2021, Victoria Police’s primary human resources IT system was enhanced to capture data about each employee’s sex, gender, sexuality, languages, culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and if a person has a disability.
Because this is a new feature, diversity figures currently appear lower than might be expected. However, as more employees report their diversity data Victoria Police will obtain a greater understanding of the diversity and needs of our employees.
This data provides a valuable benchmark to monitor our future progress.
- Employees who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual, queer, asexual or different orientation: 0.76%
- Employees with disability: 0.77%
- Employees who do not identify: 99.23%
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
- Employees who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander: 0.57%
- Employees who do not identify: 99.43%
Culturally and linguistically diverse
- Culturally and linguistically diverse employees: 15.56%
- Employees from main English speaking countries: 84.44%
Source: HR Assist – June 2022.
Reviewed 26 February 2023