Diversity is an important part of our work as Australia's leading innovation and data science network. As our CEO, Adrian Turner states, "Lack of diversity, including gender diversity in the tech sector, is the biggest obstacle to Australia realising its full potential for this generation and the next".

We're a part of the CSIRO, which has a wide range of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including:

  • The SAGE Program (Science in Gender Equity) - we capture data on recruitment, career development, career progression and employment cessation, and use this to develop a program of activities to address issues in each area.
  • Mentorship arrangements within the CSIRO.
  • Our CEO, Larry Marshall, has signed a panel pledge as a member of 'Male Champions of Change' (MCC) to not speak on any event panel that doesn't have meaningful representation of women.
  • Programs to assist individuals returning from extended leave.
  • The Ruby Payne-Scott Award of up to $10,000 to assist staff returning from extended leave, enabling them to re-engage with their field of work, re-establish professional networks and develop their professional skills.
  • A variety of child care support services for big and small CSIRO sites.
  • The LGBTI CSIRO staff network - established in 2013 to support LGBTI identifying and LGBTI-friendly staff.
  • A dedicated external support helpline for diverse groups of people within the CSIRO, including: Domestic and Family Violence, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Elder Care and LGBTIQ staff.
  • Blind recruitment.
  • Scholarships offered for the Monash Business School executive education program 'Your Leadership Voice: Women in Focus'

We are a relatively young organisation, having formed in 2016. While we have a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives in place, they are in the early stages of development. Figure 1 shows Data61's current gender diversity distribution.

Bar chart showing Data61's current gender diversity distribution: Green bar represents Males = 436; Black bar represents Females = 123.

Bar chart indicates Data61's current gender diversity distribution:

  • Male = 436
  • Female = 123.

Figure 1: Data61's gender diversity distribution.

Women make up 22 per cent of our team and this is clearly not good enough. Data on Australia's tech industry are sparse, but one analysis using LinkedIn data showed that only 31 per cent of 435,000 IT workers are women, and only 14 per cent of executive roles are held by women. This illustrates that both Data61 and the industry have a long way to go.

Some early initiatives are good first steps. We will be holding a live-streamed Women in Tech event on 16 November 2017, bringing together inspirational figures from the tech community to talk about their experiences and inspire others. We also support the Girls Programming Network - teaching girls how to code.

There is still some way for us to go to open up more opportunities for women to work at Data61 and succeed into senior level positions.

Bar chart showig the number of Data61 staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Bar chart indicates the percentage of Data61 staff and students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

Staff:

  • Yes = 43
  • No = 48
  • Not disclosed = 9.

Students:

  • Yes = 56
  • No = 13
  • Not disclosed = 30.

Figure 2: Number of Data61 staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Data61 is also punching above its weight on ethnic and linguistic diversity. 61 per cent of our talent were born overseas and more than half of our team members are from non-English speaking countries, as can be seen in figure 2.

The average age of Data61 staff and students is 36, and the average age of our staff is only 40. True diversity and inclusion means diversity of thought and experience and Data61 as an organisation in its early stages is strong in some areas and weak in others.

We'll be expanding this page in the future, as our diversity initiatives increase and are implemented further.

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