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Standards Australia's Diversity Action Plan

Standards shape all aspects of society, positively impacting the way we work, our quality of life, the economy and more. Globally, women have been under-represented in contributing to these vital documents, reducing their effectiveness for a large portion of the population.

To address this inequality, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) launched the Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standards Development, which Standards Australia signed in February 2023.

By signing the Declaration, Standards Australia has acknowledged that outcomes for men and women are not always explicitly addressed during the standards development process and pledged to take steps to make standards - and the standards development process - more gender responsive.

The first step in this process is the development of a Diversity Action Plan (DAP). While gender is a priority, the plan also focuses on age, country of birth, ethnicity, education level and discipline, and employment/employer status. The DAP will continue to be refined as the plan is implemented.

DAP Goals

Standards Australia’s DAP outlines specific and achievable tasks shaped by strategic priorities: transparency, representation, and participation.

These strategic priorities will guide small actions and larger initiatives targeted toward the implementation of a more inclusive standards development process, including the development of gender responsive standards.

Activities outlined in the action plan include:

  • Data collection on certain metrics for technical committee members;
  • Sector-specific contributor metric reporting and tracking;
  • Creation of onboarding and awareness building materials to support diversity and inclusion in standardisation;
  • Inclusion of end-user considerations to project proposals;
  • Updates to Standards Australia templates, processes and Standardisation guides.

Specific goals of the DAP include seeking appropriate representation of the communities impacted by our standards, and consistently pursuing diverse expertise across all sectors, from health and community services to building and construction.

A critical element of the DAP is an audit of contributors across technical committees to get a better understanding of current representation. This information will help to shape our understanding of the work that needs to be done.

Next Steps

The DAP is being implemented at every level of Standards Australia, and across all its business units. To keep informed of any organisational updates, subscribe to Standards Australia’s News Alerts here.

At Standards Australia we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live and recognise their deep and enduring connection to the land, waters, and their culture. We also pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We welcome and encourage the continued participation of all First Nations people to contribute to Standards Australia’s work, supporting our communities by building a safer, more sustainable environment. Standards Australia strives to create a workplace that is inclusive and respectful of all cultures, including the rich and diverse cultures of Australia's First Nations peoples, and recognises the importance of working together to build a better future for all Australians.