Diversity Council Australia is the only independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia. We offer a unique knowledge bank of research, practice and expertise across diversity dimensions developed over more than 25 years of operation. In partnership with our members, our mission is to:
- Lead debate on diversity in the public arena;
- Develop and promote the latest diversity research, thinking and practice; and
- Deliver innovative diversity practice resources and services to enable our members to drive business improvement.
DCA provides diversity advice and strategy to over 180 member organisations, many of whom are Australia’s business diversity leaders and biggest employers. Our founding members include ANZ Bank, AMP, AXA, BHP Billiton, Boral, IBM Australia, Orica, Rio Tinto and Westpac.
DCA, formerly known as the Council for Equal Opportunity in Employment Ltd, was established in 1985 as a joint initiative of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Business Council of Australia to demonstrate the business community's commitment to equal opportunity for women.
Our focus since then has expanded to cover all aspects of diversity in employment, reflecting changes in practice to embrace all areas of the diversity of human resources.
History of DCA
In July 1984 the Federal Government established a pilot program into affirmative action, involving 28 companies and three tertiary institutions. The program was operated under Senator Susan Ryan (Minister advising the PM on women’s affairs) and was adminstered by the Office of the Status of Women and was to run for a year.The Business Council of Australia became involved as many of their members participated in the pilot.
Following the pilot, the Business Council was keen to demonstrate the business community's commitment to self-regulation in the area of equal opportunity for women. In cooperation with the Confederation of Australian Industry – now the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – it announced in September 1985 that it would establish a Council for Equal Employment Opportunity. Then BCA President Bob White said at the time, “The council believes that this dramatic and positive self-regulation initiative, will foster the continuing goodwill of business and secure a genuine commitment by the private sector to affirmative action programs”.
The Council was established to develop and promote programs within industry to provide equal opportunity for women and men. It had the backing of a number of Australia’s largest companies.
It was intended to run for a period of five years, by the end of which it was assumed all companies would already have affirmative actions in place. However, the nature of, and demand for, the Council's expertise and services expanded and continues today, changing its name to Diversity Council Australia Ltd in 2005.