Diversity and inclusion are part of the very fabric of SBS, they are at the core of our Charter, and continue to be at the centre of our purpose and strategy. Since our beginnings, we have been committed to giving a voice to all Australians, regardless of gender, geography, age, cultural background or language.
SBS shares stories of rich cultural diversity and inspires communities to better understand and respect each other. We are proud to be the world’s most linguistically diverse broadcaster, but our commitment to diversity goes beyond our content.
Our workforce reflects the society from which it is drawn, and is central to our success in telling authentic stories of the many diverse communities that call Australia home. More than 40 per cent of SBS employees are from a non-English speaking background, while more than a third were born overseas.* We are a highly diverse organisation, and are focused on harnessing this diversity through creating an inclusive environment where all our employees feel a sense of belonging and can thrive. We acknowledge that this work is never done, however, and continue to look for ways to enhance our diversity and inclusion practices.
In 2018, we launched a three-year Inclusion Strategy, to work towards our goal of being a best-in-class inclusive employer.
At the core of this strategy is our Employee Action Groups (EAG), empowering our people to take an active role in fostering an inclusive culture for all. Current groups include The Network (focused on gender equity), SBS Multi (focused on culturally and linguistically diverse employees), SBS Pride & Allies (focused on LGBTQI+ inclusion) and SBS Access (which considers the experiences of employees with disabilities).
Each of these EAG work with external experts in their respective areas to inform their strategies and approach. As an example, SBS Access continues to work closely with the Australian Network on Disability, on a comprehensive Disability Action Plan, which aims to improve access to employment opportunities and increase representation of people with disabilities in the workplace.
SBS is also committed to supporting greater representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our workforce, offering a range of career support, internships and development opportunities. Working with Indigenous organisation BlackCard, we have also developed cultural capability training for our employees. You can learn more about our commitment to cultural awareness, recognition, reconciliation and our Indigenous recruitment strategy in the SBS Reconciliation Action Plan.
The way we produce stories ultimately affects the way these stories are told on screen. SBS is focused on contributing to the diversity of the sector and has in place a number of initiatives that provide tangible pathways for diverse creatives. The Diversity Talent Escalator program, places practitioners from under-represented backgrounds on SBS commissions enabling them to gain valuable experience to advance their career.
SBS embraces its leadership in diversity and inclusion and we continue to look for ways to amplify our Charter and create positive impact beyond our own organisation.
SBS’s Inclusion Program, an online training course aimed at building capability around cultural diversity in the workplace, is licensed to more than 260 organisations. The accompanying online Cultural Atlas resource provides information on 70 countries’ cultures and customs.
In August 2019, SBS commissioned a report exploring the benefits of improved social inclusion in Australia. We know there are not only positive social benefits from this, but also improved economic outcomes. You can read more in the SBS-commissioned report by Deloitte Access Economics, The Economic Benefits of Improving Social Inclusion.
*As at 30 June 2019