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Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Policy

Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy sets out the University's commitment to fostering and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce and workplace and promoting equal opportunity for all staff. 

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(2) HESF: Standard 2.2 Diversity and Equity; Standard 2.3 Wellbeing and Safety

(3) ESOS National Code of Practice 2018:  Standard 6 Overseas Student Support Services

(4) Standards for RTOs 2015: Standard 1;  Standard 5; Standard 6

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Policy applies to all staff of the University.

(6) This Policy does not apply to students of the University. Students should reference the Student Equity and Social Inclusion Policy.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(7) Staff

(8) Aboriginal

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(9) Victoria University (VU) recognises diversity as strength and welcomes differences in gender, cultural background, nationality, age, religious faith, identity, sexual orientation and supports people with accessibility requirements. We strive to foster a professional and inclusive environment where all staff are respected, valued and enabled to thrive.

(10) VU is committed to ensuring the integration of the principles of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in all relevant University policies, procedures, decisions and operations.

(11) VU will develop organisational structures that enable leaders to embed and manage diversity and inclusion, and ensure leaders are accountable for outcomes, including collecting data and reporting on the progress in implementing relevant strategies.

(12) VU will work to remove barriers to inclusion in employing staff with a diverse range of personal circumstances and characteristics. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. revising and improving recruitment processes as necessary;
  2. providing access to flexible working arrangements and support;
  3. providing information, awareness and training to assist staff and managers in identifying and redressing bias in hiring and employment; and,
  4. providing programs and resources to enable managers to be inclusive leaders in their processes and practice.

(13) VU will employ appropriate, effective and flexible strategies to improve opportunities for people from under-represented or disadvantaged groups, and will make reasonable adjustments to policies, practices and requirements where necessary to provide equal opportunity for individuals.

(14) To foster a professional and inclusive environment that enables all staff to thrive, VU does not tolerate discrimination against any person on the basis of a protected characteristic. (See Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and Management Policy).

(15) VU may target particular cohorts for employment, advancement and other opportunities at the University, where doing so will serve to provide opportunities for greater diversity, inclusion and equity. Opportunities for inclusion will be considered and applied in all aspects of the employment lifecycle, including:

  1. recruitment
  2. retention
  3. performance management
  4. promotion
  5. remuneration
  6. workforce planning including succession planning and talent identification
  7. training and professional development.

(16) VU will use appropriate language to foster inclusion of staff members from diverse backgrounds, and will be informed in language choices by the expressed preferences of communities and individuals (including the use of individuals' preferred gender pronouns).

Priority Areas for Inclusion

(17) The University has identified the following priority areas for active inclusion:

  1. Aboriginal people
    VU affirms the place of Aboriginal people as the original inhabitants and owners of this country. VU will promote the inclusion of Aboriginal people through specific recruitment strategies and practices. The University is committed to strengthening its relationship with Aboriginal people through community engagement, employment and broader education strategies, and the work of the Moondani Balluk Academic Unit.
  2. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Gender Diverse community
    VU is a place where people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities are recognised and welcomed, are free to be themselves and can bring their whole selves to work. The University aims to be a place where all can benefit from the diversity of our community.
  3. Staff Gender Equality
    VU is committed to improving career outcomes for female staff, addressing gender imbalances including pay gaps, senior representation and career progression. As part of this commitment, the University will promote workplace flexibility for all staff, particularly those in supporting caring and parental roles. The University is also committed to achieving gender balance across the workforce including monitoring employment of casuals and contractors and where there are significant operational changes and restructures.
  4. Culturally Diverse communities
    VU is a community  of people from diverse backgrounds, languages, ancestries, ethnicities, cultural traditions, and religions. VU will enact policies, practices and behaviour that support inclusion and equality and do not perpetuate systemic discrimination or exclusion due to bias.
  5. Staff with disabilities
    VU commits to undertake actions to enhance inclusion for staff with disabilities, including promoting leadership, awareness and participation and ensuring that our physical and digital environments are accessible, inclusive, and safe. The University's full commitment is established in the Staff Disability and Accessibility Policy and Staff Disability and Accessibility Procedure.
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Section 6 - Procedures

(18) Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity - Gender Affirmation Procedure