Diversity and inclusion strategy

Austrade’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy sets out our diversity strategy and policies.

Main content

Our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Strategy sets out our priorities for 2022-25.

Download the strategy

Austrade Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022–25 (PDF 1.75MB)

Please note that the format, layout and readability of the PDF differs to this accessible screen version but the information is the same.

Our strategy

The aim of our D&I Strategy is to make Austrade a place where our:

  • people feel respected and valued
  • workplaces are safe
  • workforce is diverse and inclusive
  • global agency is high performing.

Diversity and inclusion is a top priority

We take our global position and influence seriously. We consider D&I a top strategic priority. We believe if we unlock the power of D&I as an enabler of business performance and organisational health, we can:

  • contribute to the wider effort to revive economies
  • safeguard social cohesion
  • champion human rights.

Studies show the more diverse and inclusive an organisation is, the higher their levels of:

  • productivity
  • resilience.

At a more granular level, high levels of D&I are linked to:

  • better decision-making
  • innovation
  • better team collaboration.

Our continued commitment to promoting D&I and equity is critical to our success.

This simple, measurable strategy aims to build upon the diversity which comes from our global footprint. This is what makes us unique and successful.

How this version of the strategy is different

This version of the strategy is different to our previous one. This strategy sets out how Austrade will build a culture where everyone:

  • can bring their whole selves to work
  • feel a true sense of belonging and purpose.

The strategy is also our roadmap for how we will:

  • strengthen our position as an employer of choice
  • drive awareness of our unique clients and their stories.

Our diversity journey so far

Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 showed positive results for areas including:

  • indigenous
  • gender equality
  • culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD)
  • mental health
  • disability.


Objective: Percentage of LGBTQI+ staff that agree Austrade is inclusive compared to rest of staff to increase.

2019 results:

  • 65% of LGBTQI+ staff said we were inclusive
  • 74% of the overall agency said we were inclusive

2021 results:

  • 78% of LGBTQI+ staff said we were inclusive
  • 86% of the overall agency said we were inclusive


Objective: Achieve and exceed at least 2.5% representation of Indigenous staff by 2021.

2019 results:

  • We achieved 0.75% representation in 2019.

2021 results:

  • We achieved 2% representation in 2021.

Gender equality

Objective: Increase representation of women in leadership positions from 42% to 50%

2021 results:

  • We achieved 49% representation in 2021.


Objective: Increase representation of staff onshore from CALD backgrounds from 18% to beyond 30%.

2021 results:

  • We achieved 39% representation in 2021.

Mental health

Objective: Increase Australian Public Service Wellbeing Index Score to beyond 67%.

2021 results:

  • We achieved a score of 71% in 2021.


Objective: Increase representation of staff with a disability from 0.75% to beyond 3%.

2021 results:

  • We achieved 4% representation in 2021.

Other achievements

Other Austrade achievements include:

  • Reconciliation Action Plan – Innovate level two.
  • We appointed an Indigenous Trade Commissioner.
  • We established Senior Executive Service (SES) diversity champions and networks.
  • We held 23 D&I activities in 2020-2021.
  • We took part in 4 D&I recruitment programs.

Staff survey on inclusivity

We surveyed staff to find out if they agree Austrade is an inclusive agency. Results showed:

  • 74% agreed in 2018
  • 80% agreed in 2019
  • 85% agreed in 2020
  • 86% agreed in 2021.

What we will do differently

We need to:

  • build on the momentum we’ve achieved, and
  • create new ways to think and talk about diversity in a post-pandemic world.

We will:

  • focus on belonging, inclusion, behaviours, equity of opportunity for all
  • increase diversity across the agency and client profile.

Leaders need new skills to enable belonging, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. We also need scalable ways to ensure our D&I initiatives:

  • avoid common mistakes
  • are solid and sustainable.

Listening to our people

In this version of our strategy, we aim to improve accountability. We aim to do this through D&I indicators that are:

  • better defined
  • measured.

We can create belonging by listening to the voices and lived experiences of our:

  • people
  • global networks.

Over the last five years, we have gathered feedback from our:

  • employees
  • SES diversity champions
  • networks.

We received this feedback from forums and responses in agency-wide surveys. We measured employee sentiment and diversity figures. This was to find gaps and roadblocks to embedding D&I.

Integrative and evidence-based approach

Our strategy is based on:

  • a wide review of our agency culture
  • an external benchmarking process.

This measured quantitative data and qualitative experiences of our people.

The resulting framework includes a series of interventions. There are 5 key focus areas under the acronym BRAVE:

  • Belonging – build psychological safety, trust, and transparency
  • Reputation – promote our diverse business engagement and celebrate diversity and inclusion publicly
  • Accountability – create leadership targets, empower D&I champions and ally networks
  • Values and behaviours – promote inclusive language and allyship. Target discrimination and bullying. Align values to expected behaviours
  • Equity – enable fair opportunity through transparency.

What BRAVE means in diversity and inclusion

We don’t want to play it safe and remain compliant in the D&I space. We want to:

  • be innovative
  • question norms
  • embed inclusion for all, not just a privileged few.

We do that by:

  • having hard conversations
  • soliciting feedback
  • acknowledging and addressing bias
  • showing vulnerability
  • asking for diverse viewpoints
  • defending or promoting others
  • acting with integrity, even if it is unpopular.

We will underpin this through:

  • data
  • measurable targets
  • practical actions
  • ongoing feedback
  • external benchmarking exercises.

D&I is everyone’s business and business as usual

Everyone has a role to play in creating a workplace that is:

  • respectful
  • inclusive
  • psychologically safe.

We also have a role in creating a service that supports our clients and staff. An inclusive and diverse agency is a strong and productive agency. It is resilient to change and attracts the best talent in the world.

It takes bravery to call out unacceptable behaviours in the workplace. We want to ensure people feel safe and empowered to do so.

Ongoing feedback

Ongoing reflections and feedback from clients and staff will help us shape this strategy. They will also ensure it is fit-for-purpose.

Through the lifecycle of this strategy and beyond, we encourage staff to engage with our:

  • programs
  • training
  • opportunities.

What we will do


We will:

  • refresh and increase Employee D&I Network membership and activities
  • deliver psychological safety training, share toolkits and run awareness sessions
  • promote and encourage high levels of engagement in:
    • D&I capability building initiatives
    • D&I events agency-wide.


We will:

  • celebrate and promote our D&I achievements in the APS and broader community
  • measure and promote the number of diverse businesses we engage with
  • create an external D&I social media communication strategy.


We will:

  • implement D&I performance action plans for leaders
  • ensure D&I is a standing item on relevant leadership discussions and branch meetings
  • identify and use benchmarking tools to:
    • measure our D&I across the APS and broader community
    • shape how we can improve.

Values and behaviours

We will:

  • deliver unacceptable behaviours training
  • send out key messaging to all staff on standards and reporting
  • ensure CEO messaging to managers. This is so they respond appropriately and quickly to unacceptable behaviours if and when they occur
  • add inclusion to future reviews of our core values and behaviours.


We will:

  • attract and employ people from diverse groups. This is to meet or exceed APS-wide targets
  • review recruitment and promotion practices and processes to ensure transparency and fairness
  • review agency facilities and technology. This is to ensure they are inclusive. We will make adjustments wherever possible.

How we measure diversity and inclusion


We will have achieved success if:

  • at least 90% of people tell us they:
    • feel respected at Austrade
    • belong at Austrade
  • measures of respect and belonging sentiment in 6 diversity focus areas are comparable with the Austrade average
  • rates of diversity identification in our HR system are comparable to APS Census results.


We will have achieved success if:

  • we achieve a 5% increase in Diverse Business representation on core client support programs (Women/Indigenous/Disability/CALD/LGBTQI+)
  • we are a top 10 APS agency for ‘Inclusion and Wellbeing’, according to APS census data
  • we gain ‘Inclusion Employer of Choice’ status on the Diversity Council Australia Inclusion@Work Index
  • we achieve Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan Status.


We will have achieved success if:

  • all leaders have D&I performance goals
  • all D&I champions have active networks and action plans with targets
  • at least 90% of Austraders feel their manager promotes and supports D&I.

Values and behaviours

We will have achieved success if:

  • rate of bullying and harassment reduce from 15%
  • increase in reporting levels from 35% to over 95% reporting unacceptable behaviours
  • discrimination rates reduce from 9% to below 2%.

(Source: Australian Public Service Commission, APS Employee Census 2021).


We will have achieved success if:

  • we collect and measure D&I exit survey feedback
  • there is increased diversity across levels Executive Level 1 to SES
  • at least 90% of staff tell us Austrade is an inclusive agency.


The success of this strategy is the responsibility of the entire Austrade workforce. However, the following positions and groups have specific responsibilities for the D&I Strategy. This includes:

  • implementing
  • maintaining
  • reviewing.

These positions and groups include:

  • the Chief Executive Officer. They are the main advocate for implementation and accountability
  • the Champions and Employee Networks:
    • champion D&I at the executive leadership level
    • represent diverse voices in Austrade.
  • the Chief People Officer. They manage, review, evaluate and report on strategy progress. Reviews should be annual or when there is an agency change
  • the Inclusion and Wellbeing Team. They develop, coordinate and evaluate the D&I Strategy
  • all managers:
    • champion D&I in their teams
    • lead by example
    • set expectations for inclusive behaviour and practices
  • all employees. Employees are responsible for:
    • championing D&I in the agency
    • respecting and actively including each other.

How we live our values

We embody diversity and inclusion in our work by:

  • having diversity champions leading the way at Austrade
  • supporting our employee networks that represent different streams of diversity
  • celebrating diversity through:
    • awareness-raising events
    • employment programs
    • education
  • being active and proud members of:
    • Diversity Council Australia
    • Australian Network on Disability
    • Pride in Diversity
  • continuing towards reconciliation by renewing our Reconciliation Action Plan

Contact us

Email: diversity@austrade.gov.au

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