Minimal diversity at leadership level

Australia is widely celebrated as a multicultural triumph, but any such success remains incomplete. There remains significant underrepresentation of cultural diversity in the senior leadership of Australian organisations.

Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, has revisited his Leading for Change (2016) report and found a persistent lack of cultural diversity among leaders in business, politics, government and universities.  

The Commissioner’s 2016 report examined cultural diversity among the 201 chief executives of ASX 200 companies, finding only five per cent had a non-European background and no one had an Indigenous background. The scope of the new report is wider. It examines cultural diversity among more than 2,400 chief executives and senior manager.  “In a society where nearly one-quarter is estimated to have a non-European or Indigenous background, the findings challenge us to do better with our multiculturalism,” Dr Soutphommasane said.

Leading for Change starts the conversation about improving the representation of cultural diversity within Australian leadership. It provides guidance for how organisations can nurture leadership that is fit for our multicultural society and our global economy.

To view these documents click on the links below.

Leading for Change: A blueprint for cultural diversity and inclusive leadership (2016)

Leading for Change: A blueprint for cultural diversity and inclusive leadership revisited April (2018