Jesuit Social Services was recently named on a list of Australian organisations leading the way in diversity and inclusion. The independent not-for-profit peak body Diversity Council Australia’s tracks the state of inclusion in the Australian workforce through its Inclusive Employers Index. We are proud to be listed on the 2023-24 Index, which recognises organisations demonstrating a higher level of dedication to diversity and inclusion than the broader Australian workforce.

Respecting diversity is inherent to Jesuit Social Services’ vision of a just society where all people can live to their full potential. For more than 45 years we have worked with some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised members of our communities, who come from many walks of life and often experience inequality, prejudice and exclusion. We know that to achieve our vision, our workplace and services must be diverse and inclusive.

Jesuit Social Services’ CEO, Julie Edwards, says our place on this year’s Index is a recognition of the organisation’s investment in diversity and inclusion.

“We are very proud of our progress on diversity and inclusion, which is the culmination of a whole-of-organisation effort and many years’ dedication to making Jesuit Social Services as welcoming, safe and inclusive as possible for current and prospective staff, volunteers and participants.”

Julie Edwards

CEO, Jesuit Social Services

The Index compares survey results from a sample of 106 Jesuit Social Services employees – which is approximately 25 per cent of our staff – with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 Australian workers and 25,349 employees of Diversity Council Australia member organisations.

Inclusive employers must exceed the national benchmark in a majority of a number of categories including inclusive organisational climate, levels of diversity and inclusion in the organisation’s leadership and team, and levels of exclusion.

Our staff’s assessment of Jesuit Social Services’ organisational climate exceeded both the benchmark for the Australian workforce and for Diversity Council Australia members, with 72 per cent of Jesuit Social Services employees rating the organisational climate as inclusive, compared with 52 per cent of the Australian workforce and 65 per cent of Diversity Council Australia members.

Jesuit Social Services employs people with a disability, those with caring responsibilities, women, and LGBTQI+ at higher rates than broader Australian workforce.

In fact, 21 per cent of Jesuit Social Services’ staff are LGBTIQ+, compared with 11 per cent of the Australian workforce. 68 per cent are women, compared with 48 per cent of the Australian workforce, and 11 per cent have disability compared to 9 per cent of the Australian workforce.

Jesuit Social Services is in the first year of implementing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy, has completed its second (Innovate) Reconciliation Action Plan and is now developing its Reconciliation and Justice Action Plan. This year Jesuit Social Services also achieved Rainbow Tick accreditation, a rigorous national accreditation program for organisations that can demonstrate safe, inclusive and affirming services and employment for the LGBTIQA+ community.

“Being listed on the Inclusive Employers Index demonstrates we are on the right track when it comes to diversity and inclusion, but the work doesn’t stop here. Jesuit Social Services will continue to grow our commitment to this work over the coming years,” Julie says.