In an Australian first, the Andrews Labor Government will run a pilot program to create a fairer playing field for those applying for work, ensuring they get the best opportunities regardless of their background.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, has welcomed the program, which aims to counter any potential bias during recruitment and ensure employers get the best people for the job to improve their bottom line.

The 18-month pilot will assess which personal details – including name, gender, age and location – should be de-identified during the application process.

The pilot will be implemented in partnership with government agencies and the private sector – including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Treasury and Finance, WorkSafe, Victoria Police, Australia Post, Westpac, the Transport Accident Commission and VicRoads.

Hiring bias, including unconscious bias, can unfairly deny many Victorians from receiving the same opportunities as colleagues of a different gender, culture and age.

Over the next three months, a group of public and private sector representatives led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet will:

  • develop an implementation plan to scope and define the pilot
  • identify training requirements and other materials
  • develop an evaluation tool to assess the outcomes of the pilot

Research conducted by the Australian National University shows people from culturally diverse backgrounds with equivalent qualifications and experience often have to submit many more applications before they are offered an interview.

Diversity Council of Australia research also highlights the economic benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace, leading to greater productivity and innovation.

Higher executive and board diversity in companies produced equity returns that were 53% higher and gross earnings that were 14% higher than those with low levels of diversity.

The Andrews Labor Government will allocate $200,000 to NGOs and the private sector to provide training to address hiring biases.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams

“This is welcome news for Dandenong the most multicultural area in the state. Every Victorian deserves the same opportunity – regardless of their name, age, gender, background or location.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott

“I believe in an Australia where it isn’t your age, background, postcode, gender or the wealth of your parents that determines your chance for a fair go”

“This initiative is the first of its kind in Australia, and an important step towards equality of opportunity in our workforce.”

“We want employers from across the public and private sector to sign up to creating a level playing field for all Victorians.”

The initiative, and others aimed at reducing hiring bias across the state, will be developed in partnership with both the public and private sectors and includes:

  • Australian Industry Group
  • Australia Post
  • Ambulance Victoria
  • Australian Workers Union
  • Centre for Ethical Leadership
  • Community and Public Sector Union
  • Deloitte
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Treasury and Finance
  • DOW Chemical
  • Ernst & Young
  • Hall & Wilcox
  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers
  • Publicis Australia
  • Recruitment and Consultancy Services Association
  • The Shannon Company
  • Transport Accident Commission
  • University of Melbourne University
  • United Energy and Multinet Gas
  • Victoria Police
  • VicRoads
  • Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • Victorian Trades Hall
  • Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
  • Westpac
  • WorkSafe