Date posted: 20/10/2022 4 min read

CA ANZ launches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy

Following member research conducted in 2021, the DEI strategy is focused on fostering a diverse, inclusive and sustainable profession.

In Brief

  • CA ANZ has launched a 3-pillar Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Strategy focussed on: Inclusive Culture, Inclusive Careers and Inclusive Leadership
  • The strategy is underpinned by research which asked CAs about their lived experience and how they identify
  • Key to the strategy is the development of an Inclusion Coalition , mobilising a coalition of member organisations to commit to a range of measurable Diversity, Equity and Inclusion outcomes

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has launched its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy: ‘How we come together will help us make a difference’.

The strategy is the result of member feedback nominating diversity and inclusion as a priority for the future success and sustainability of the industry – particularly in the attraction and retention of high-quality talent.

The research

In 2021, CA ANZ conducted our first Inclusion and Diversity member survey, with the help of independent research and insights company Kantar, receiving 2127 responses in total (1092 responses from Australia, 860 from New Zealand, 170 from overseas members and five from members who preferred not to state their location). Members were asked to share how they identify and provide information based on their experiences over the previous five years.

While 93% of respondents said they had not experienced discriminatory behaviour in the past five years – which is 11% above the benchmark – there were some less-positive aspects. The survey revealed instances of broader exclusionary and negative behaviour, particularly for women, LGBTIQA+ individuals and people with a disability. Half of all people who identified as LGBTIQA+, for example, say they have been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace. For people with a disability, just over half (53%) reported being spoken over or not listened to in meetings.

Why is DEI Important?

  • Talent retention and high performance:
  • Fostering inclusive cultures in the workplace by creating an environment where people feel comfortable and confident to embrace their difference, not only provides a social benefit, but it also encourages employee loyalty, trust, retention, and performance.
  • A sustainable future for the profession
  • For organisations to remain competitive in the market and to ensure our profession continues to thrive and attract fresh talent, organisations must foster an inclusive culture and respond to the needs of their changing workforce.
  • A catalyst for growth
  • Organisations that prioritise inclusion and diversity in the workplace have shown themselves to outperform their competitors, exceed financial targets and achieve better business outcomes.

The strategy

Together we will work with our members to develop and execute a profession-wide DEI strategy designed around three pillars:

  • Inclusive Culture
  • Inclusive Careers
  • Inclusive Leadership

Our strategy will set clear expectations and hold our members accountable for creating a safe and respectful profession free from harm where all our members can thrive and belong.

Our plan is to create learning and accreditation pathways that allow chartered accountants from a range of diverse backgrounds to thrive in their careers; with a continued focus on widening participation and representation of First Nations People, and under-represented groups, on both sides of the Tasman.

2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Pillar Strategy

Key outcomes

The focus of the strategy is to deliver real and measurable outcomes. A number of key actions have been articulated across each of the three pillars to demonstrate:

  1. How we will help educate and raise awareness of key DEI dimensions within each pillar, for example, the delivery of bystander, cultural competency and psychological safety training programs.
  2. What tools and resources will be developed with and for current and future members, for example, a DEI Resource Hub and member ally communities.
  3. How we will set the standard and hold ourselves and the wider profession accountable for DEI outcomes, for example, development of a Respect at Work strategy and mobilising an Inclusion Coalition for profession leaders to formally commit to report on a range of measurable DEI outcomes.

Get involved

Would you like to have input into delivery of Chartered Accountants ANZ DEI Strategy, including the establishment of ally networks and the design of an Inclusion Coalition?

Get in touch at [email protected]

2022 DEI Report

Download report