Woort Koorliny: Australian Indigenous Employment Index 2022

The Indigenous Employment Index was commissioned by Minderoo’s Generation One initiative, partnering with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and Murawin Consulting, as an Australian first to identify and measure practices within large organisations that increase and improve Indigenous employment.

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.

The research finds there is genuine commitment from participating organisations to Indigenous employment, and that progress is being made. However there is still much work to be done to improve the attraction, retention, and progression of Indigenous employees, while creating culturally safe and inclusive environments where all employees can thrive.

Key findings

  • 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.