Cultural Diversity in the Public Sector

NSW Public Service Commission

Working in the NSW public sector, we’re fortunate enough to be contributing to a state that’s rich in cultural diversity, with people from around 115 countries calling NSW home. More broadly, 1 in 4 Australians across our states were born overseas. We want our workforce to be just as culturally diverse as the communities we serve every day.

As a culturally diverse workforce, we’re able to bring together our unique cultural perspectives to deliver better outcomes for the people of NSW through a deeper understanding of our communities.

How we’re doing

In 2017, 13.2% of our NSW public sector workforce identified as being from a racial, ethnic, or ethno-religious minority group, and 18.4% speaking a first language other than English. This closely aligns to that of the employed population of NSW which is estimated at 16.3% based on NSW employed person’s country of birth.

The leadership of the public sector is relatively diverse in terms of racial, ethnic, or ethno-religious minority groups. Although representation is lower at leadership levels for employees whose first language spoken was not English, numbers have been increasing in the last six years.

Employees from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds reported more positive perceptions of their workplace across key measures in the 2017 People Matter Employee Survey than the broader workforce. Employees who spoke a language other than English at home reported:

  • Higher engagement score on average (68%) than broader workforce (65%)
  • More positive perceptions about workplace diversity and inclusion on average (71%) than the broader workforce (67%)