Victorians will have a fairer playing field when applying for jobs under an anti-discrimination pilot program launched by the Victorian government. The program is part of the new Multicultural Policy Statement and the supporting campaign “Victorian.And part of it” launched on Sunday 19 February 2017 by Premier Daniel Andrews and Robyn Scott, Minister for Multicultural affairs in Victoria.
In an Australian-first, Recruit Smarter will de-identify personal details – such as names, genders, ages, and locations – to reduce potential bias during the application process. It is hoped the program will help ensure employers get the best people for the job to improve their bottom line.
A group of migrants at the launch of “Victorian. And proud of it” campaign
“I believe in an Australia where someone’s age, background, postcode, gender or wealth doesn’t determine your chance for a fair go. This is the first multi-sector cooperative initiative of its kind in Australia. It’s a ground-breaking and important step towards equality of opportunity in our workforce”, stated Robyn Scott.
Research shows people from culturally diverse backgrounds with equivalent qualifications and experience often have to submit more applications before they are offered an interview.
The program will be trialled for 18 months and it will include targeting language with traditionally masculine or feminine connotations in job advertisements, training to help human resources and staff involved in recruitment to recognise and prevent unconscious bias in the process. Additionally, programmed bias mitigation prompts will be used throughout the selection process reminding selection committees of common biases, hotspots and other potential bias hazards in job interviews
Some government departments and three major corporations have signed up for the trial already, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Treasury and Finance, WorkSafe, VicHealth, the Transport Accident Commission, Westpac, Ai Group and accounting firm PwC.
Diversity Council of Australia research shows that greater executive and board diversity in companies produced equity returns that were 53 per cent higher and gross earnings that were 14 per cent higher compared with those with low levels of diversity.