Our Diversity and Inclusion Program
David Jones has evolved and grown with the Australian community since we opened our doors in 1838. Just as the face of Australia has changed in that time, so too has the face of David Jones. As an iconic Australian brand, we are committed to promoting diversity in all its forms and to building a culture of inclusion that embraces the differences that exist across our organisation and community.
We will meet this commitment by ensuring that our business and brand reflect the diverse make-up of our community, encouraging diversity of thought and embedding a culture of inclusion across our organisation. These measures are outlined in our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and reflect our Diversity Policy.
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To ensure that we adequately respond to our stakeholders’ expectations, we have commenced wide-ranging consultation with those people and organisations that represent the different voices and perspectives within our community.
Of course, our greatest level of direct influence is as an employer, with our workforce coming from diverse backgrounds and representing different genders, races, faiths, cultures, sexual orientations and abilities. We will use insights already captured from recent engagement surveys, supported by an employee census and roundtable discussions, to gain a better understanding of what actions we can take to improve diversity and become more inclusive.
We have also captured feedback from our customers in relation to diversity through an on-line survey and have engaged with our business partners, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations to understand what they are doing in relation to diversity and inclusion. These discussions have all contributed to the development of our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy.
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We have developed a four year Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to help guide our journey from an organisation that values diversity, to an organisation that practices inclusion.
In line with the Diversity Council of Australia, the scope of this strategy covers workplace flexibility, cultural and multi-faith diversity, gender diversity, inclusion of LGBTI people, generational diversity, inclusion of people with disabilities and Indigenous reconciliation.
Going forward, our approach will extend beyond our role as an employer, in recognition of the role we can also play as a business and retailer operating within the broader community.
Initially, this will require us to engage with our employees and customers to clarify the current demographic make-up of our business, so that we can establish a strong foundation and then tailor programs that optimise our opportunities to encourage diversity of thought and embed culture of inclusion.
We are also committed to supporting Indigenous reconciliation, through our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). While development and implementation of our RAP forms part of our overall Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, it is also important in its own right because it outlines the efforts we are taking to ensure that our business is simply more diverse and more inclusive.
Like other leading Australian organisations, David Jones’ RAP will outline the public commitments we are making to help redress inter-generational social injustice that prevails in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities, by promoting respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and by creating opportunities for ATSI people and businesses.
Establish a solid foundation
In establishing a strong foundation, we will first need to understand the demographic make-up of our business. We will do this by conducting a census of our own employees, supported by focus groups, and working with our Marketing team to better understand our customer base.
Armed with this information, we will then conduct a review of key demographic changes within the Australian community over the past few decades so that we can tailor programs that optimise our opportunities to promote diversity and become more inclusive.
In the first instance, this analysis will inform changes that we need to make to existing policies or identify new policies that need to be developed. This includes policies that are specific to diversity as well as business policies that influence decision-making processes more broadly across the organisation.
Within this policy review, we will also update our modelling guidelines to ensure they are inclusive and broadly reflect customer expectations.
Once we have conducted this review, we will also be in a better position to prioritise our key focus areas and confirm the targets that we will use to monitor our transition from an organisation that values diversity to an organisation that practices inclusion.
Build and embed an inclusive culture
Having prioritised our key focus areas, our plan is to then set about developing a program that aims to celebrate diversity and promote a more inclusive culture. We will also establish cross-functional working groups who will have responsibility for implementing specific projects and campaigns.
Integrating diversity and inclusion concepts into learning and development programs will be key to embedding a culture of inclusion. This will require changes to our existing programs and there will be a requirement to create new programs that speak to specific opportunities, such as cultural awareness training or management development programs that encourage diversity of thought.
We will harness the diverse make-up of our workforce by initiating Employee Network Groups, to help drive the program from a grass-roots level. These groups will be established broadly in-line with key demographic groups and will report into a Steering Group that we hope will act as an advisory group to the rest of the business
We will also develop a diversity calendar and support this with educative campaigns and in-store activities, to help our employees and customers improve their understating of commemorative days, cultural events and religious festivals that they may be less familiar with.
Finally, we will work with our Environment team, who have accountability for our New Stores’ Checklist, to become more inclusive by improving accessibility in our new and refurbished stores.
While these initiatives are all internally focused, it is our intention that by increasing diversity of thought and becoming a more inclusive employer, we will be able to influence business decisions so that more customers also see themselves reflected in David Jones.
Develop and implement a Reconciliation Action Plan
To support reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and help bridge the gaps that prevail between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the areas of health, education and social inclusion, we have commenced development of our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
A consultation draft has been developed by a working group comprised of senior managers from across the business and representatives from the Indigenous community including David Jones’ Brand Ambassador, Adam Goodes. This working group will be expanded to include David Jones’ employees who identify as being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
The business will now work with Reconciliation Australia through multiple rounds of feedback and revisions, to ensure that our RAP is best placed to deliver meaningful change in a culturally sensitive manner. Once this consultation and accreditation process draws to a close, we will publish our RAP and commence implementation of our first two-year plan. We will publish both our action plan and regular updates communicating our progress through our website.
Before we submit our final draft for accreditation, we will engage more broadly with the indigenous community and other stakeholders, to better understand how we can best support reconciliation. We will also engage with our strategic partners (including our charity partners) to ensure alignment.