New Indigenous Employment Index released with the Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One and Murawin Consulting

ContactsAlan Duncan, Director
Joanna Holcombe, Communications and Engagement Coordinator
Published24 May 2022

Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has partnered with the Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initative and Murawin Consulting to develop Australia’s first Indigenous Employment Index, a comprehensive study of Indigenous employment practices by 42 Australian workplaces covering over 700,000 workers collectively.

The goal of the Indigenous Employment Index is to provide an evidence base for “what works” in creating Indigenous employment parity in a sustainable and meaningful way. In creating the evidence base, the index sought to quantify the numbers of Indigenous people employed by major employers and collect information about the programs and policies these employers have put in place.

Among the main findings from this research, the Indigenous Employment Index shows that:

  • The average Indigenous employment rate across surveyed employers is 2.2 per cent compared to the general population share of 3.3 per cent
  • Targets and accountability work in narrowing the Indigenous employment gap
  • Companies that reported regularly on progress towards Indigenous employment parity had more than double the share of Indigenous employees than those that did not
  • Measures of success for Indigenous employment outcomes extend beyond the number of people employed, and include retention, safety, progression, and partnerships
  • Indigenous employees are almost entirely absent from senior management and executive leadership levels
  • Over half of Indigenous employees surveyed report direct or indirect racism currently and throughout their careers
  • Organisations that put in place a comprehensive, systemic suite of programs and policies achieve greater improvements in Indigenous employment outcomes.

The national Indigenous Employment Index report also makes a number of key recommendations for governments, employers and investors to accelerate the end of Indigenous employment disparities.

Professor Alan Duncan, Director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and a researcher on the project, said the index was a valuable new guide for organisations to use in working towards Indigenous employment parity.

“The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, alongside Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initiative, and Murawin Consulting, sought to create an evidence base to help Australian employers understand what works in recruiting, retaining, and progressing Indigenous peoples within their organisations,” Professor Duncan said.

“The Indigenous Employment Index builds an important resource for employers at any stage of their journeys towards Indigenous employment parity.

“The Centre is proud to have contributed to such a significant piece of research that drives greater employment equality and opportunities for Indigenous Australians.”

The indicators that form the basis of the Index were collected across five domains including governance and reporting, attraction and recruitment, retention and development, authenticity and leadership and community engagement.

For the full Indigenous Employment Index findings, visit indigenousemploymentindex.org.