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Managing Diversity in Australia: A Viable Career Option, Social Change Agents, or Corporate Stepping Stone?

Diversity within Diversity Management

ISBN: 978-1-78754-821-3, eISBN: 978-1-78754-820-6

Publication date: 10 April 2019



(1) Critically analyze the role of diversity and inclusion practitioners and the legal/policy framework for managing diversity and inclusion in Australia. (2) Propose enhanced framework to improve outcomes for disadvantaged groups in the workforce.


Review of international and Australian literature, overview of gains and continuing gaps for disadvantaged groups, and consideration of the features of work health and safety (Robens-style) legislation that could be adapted to the diversity and inclusion jurisdiction.


The role of diversity and inclusion practitioner is often transient and fragmented, offering a limited base to advance the diversity and inclusion cause. Based on indicators, much more work is required to achieve full diversity and inclusion. A stronger legislative/policy framework is needed to increase the effectiveness and longevity of the diversity and inclusion practitioner role, spread responsibility, and achieve improved outcomes.

Research Limitations

A lack of qualitative data from workplaces to augment our understanding of the challenges encountered by diversity and inclusion practitioners. To date, there has been no opportunity to test the feasibility of Robens-style legislation/policy in this area.

Practical Implications

Opportunity to develop a fully worked proposal for legislative/policy reform to present to the government, employers, professional associations, trade unions, and representatives of disadvantaged groups.

Social Implications

Reforms could have far-reaching implications for the regulation and administration of diversity and inclusion practice in Australia


Critical review of the diversity and inclusion practitioner role and associated legislation/policy in Australia and consideration of an alternative framework for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.



Bertone, S. and Abeynayake, S. (2019), "Managing Diversity in Australia: A Viable Career Option, Social Change Agents, or Corporate Stepping Stone?", Diversity within Diversity Management (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 85-101.



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