Tuesday 4 June

More than 160 Victorian Public Service employees attended the Women of Colour Network launch in Melbourne.

A first for the public service, the network already has over 90 members since forming in January.

Issues covered at the event included:

  • the cultural glass ceiling
  • the ethnic pay gap
  • the business cost of leaving culturally diverse women behind
  • tips for leadership progression.

The network’s deputy co-chair, Celia Tran, opened the event with the network’s vision to empower women of colour and improve outcomes for the public sector.

A range of people spoke of workplace challenges and lived experiences including:

  • Talei Richards, the network’s chairperson
  • Brigid Monagle, the network’s executive sponsor and Deputy Secretary of Fairer Victoria
  • Marwa Zamani, Aboriginal Victoria
  • Christine Youssef, Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • Charmaine Zuze, Department of Education and Training
  • Rachel Tulia, Executive Director of people and culture at Department of Treasury and Finance
  • Div Pillay, CEO and co-founder of MindTribes and Culturally Diverse Workforces.

Department of Premier and Cabinet Secretary, Chris Eccles AO, attended the event to show his support and pledge funds to the network’s development.

Mr Eccles spoke about his commitment to diversity and inclusion and the need for an action plan. He encouraged senior leaders and staff to support women of colour employees on their journey.

This network held the event with the support of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the Victorian Public Sector Commission.

Why the network exists

The network exists to create a safe and inclusive space to:

  • share lived experiences
  • inform policies and programs on how to meet the needs of communities
  • improve diversity and inclusion in recruitment, retention and career progression.

How to find out more

The network is open to anyone in the Victorian Public Service who identify as a woman of colour.

Head to women of colour network to find out more.