1. Purpose

To outline our commitment to inclusion and diversity in the way we work, how we do business with our customers and how we support and reflect the many communities in our service area.

2. Scope of policy

This policy applies to South East Water and its subsidiary, Iota, and must be observed by all directors, employees, agents, contractors and other workers. References in this policy to South East Water are taken to include Iota.

3. What this means for us

We believe that an inclusive and diverse organisation delivers better outcomes for our customers and communities and supports the achievement of our purpose and vision. It helps us to:

  • Attract, develop and retain diverse talent which helps with a productive and engaged workforce focused on successfully delivering on our customer outcomes in our Corporate Plan
  • Engage and connect effectively with our customers to better understand their diverse needs that will achieve the best community outcomes.
  • Improve our productivity by removing cultural barriers which allows more effective work practices where all contributions are valued.
  • Foster innovation by leveraging the diversity of thought, skills and experience of our employees and stakeholders.
  • Provide a physically and psychologically safe environment for all employees which enables them to deliver better outcomes.

Our commitment to inclusion and diversity aligns with our values:

  • We put safety first
  • We care
  • We’re real
  • We’re bold
  • We discover
  • We deliver sustainably 

It’s also a key focus area in our Safety, People and Wellbeing Strategy and our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy.

  • Our commitment is supported by our Board and Executive Management team who’ll sponsor the development of strategies and plans which:
  • Develop inclusive recruitment and employment strategies. 
  • Set objectives and measurable targets that guide the implementation of the Safety, People and Wellbeing Strategy and our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, and review progress against key programs of work.
  • Continue education and communication to our employees, customers and communities by promoting the benefits that inclusion and diversity brings to our organisation.
  • Promote gender equality in policies, programs and services that impact our staff or the public.
  • Ensure we comply with legislation. 
4. Policy statement

We want to achieve a truly inclusive culture and diverse workplace where difference is recognised and celebrated. Bringing together people from diverse backgrounds achieves better outcomes for all as our services are enriched by our access to a diverse set of skills, experiences and perspectives. This means sustainable value will be delivered to our organisation, workforce, stakeholders and communities. 

We’ll do this through:

  • Embracing workforce diversity – age, gender, culture and Indigenous background, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability and social and professional identity.
  • Valuing different perspectives – leveraging diverse ideas, knowledge, skills, experience and working styles of our stakeholders, employees and customers. 
  • Providing access to opportunities for flexible work arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of individuals at different career and life stages.
  • Respecting stakeholder diversity – building strong relationships and partnerships with diverse communities, employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Proactive employee and external communications – bringing to life and celebrating inclusion and diversity through internal news, social media and external feature articles. 
  • Empowering our employees – helping our diverse workforce to grow, connect and be supported by providing opportunities for employee resource groups to share experiences and knowledge and create a safe space to promote a culture of inclusion.
  • Code of conduct
  • Employee communications framework
5. Related policies and prcedures
  • Anti-discrimination, harassment, bullying and grievance
  • Code of conduct
  • Disability procedure
  • Employee communications framework
  • Flexible work arrangements framework 
  • Parental leave
  • Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Wellbeing framework
6. Legislative compliance
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)
  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) 
  • Disability Act 2006 (Vic) 
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) 
  • Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
  • Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic)
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
7. Approval

Approved by: South East Water Board of Directors

Approved on: 6 December 2021

Sponsor: General Manager, People and Safety

Implementer: Inclusion and Diversity Coach

Review date: 25 September 2023