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Culturally and linguistically diverse, Human Resources

Five prominent Australian organisations to join the RISE Project

Diversity Council Australia 2 mins read

Five major Australian organisations will join the RISE project – a groundbreaking program designed to help break barriers for culturally and racially marginalised (CARM) women in the workplace.

The RISE project (Realise. Inspire. Support. Energise.) aims to help CARM women progress to leadership positions after a landmark Diversity Council Australia report identified intersectional barriers were locking them out of these positions.

Diversity Council Australia (DCA), in partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI) and Chief Executive Women (CEW), launched phase one of the RISE project in January 2024 and has begun onboarding a new lineup of participants.

The newly announced participating organisations come from a diverse range of sectors including hospitality, telecommunications, professional services, social justice advocacy, community services and spiritual care. They include:

  • Accenture
  • Gilbert + Tobin
  • HCF
  • Telstra, and
  • Uniting NSW.ACT

Phase one participants will use an Australian-first self-audit tool to assess their organisation’s racial literacy which will inform a tailored 12-month action plan for each organisation, including built-in training from DCA and SSI on anti-racism and cultural responsiveness respectively.

Each organisation has put forward up to 20 CARM women working in their organisation to benefit from an individualised career support plan and leadership program opportunities, including CEW’s Leaders Program.

“DCA commends these organisations for their involvement in the RISE project,” said DCA CEO Lisa Annese.

“By taking the lead, they not only elevate their own standards, but also illuminate a pathway for broader organisational learning in dismantling systemic barriers, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable leadership landscape across Australia."

The RISE Project’s pilot organisations were announced in October 2023, including Arup and University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Phase one will see a further five organisations onboarded in March.

For more information about the RISE project, or to be considered for the second and FINAL phase of the project’s intake, please complete the Expression of Interest here.

Media Contact: Ali Coulton, 0430 242 682 |

About DCA: Diversity Council Australia is the independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We provide unique research, inspiring events and programs, curated resources and expert advice across all diversity dimensions to a community of over 1,300 member organisations. Our member organisations are estimated to employ nearly two million Australians, representing more than 20% of the workforce.


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