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Human Resources, Women

DCA calls on organisations to take an intersectional approach to gender equality

Diversity Council Australia 2 mins read

Diversity Council Australia (DCA) is offering organisations one last chance to join its groundbreaking RISE project and become a trailblazer in workplace diversity and inclusion.

The RISE Project (Realise. Inspire. Support. Energise.) gives organisations the opportunity to create real change for culturally and racially marginalised (CARM) women in the workplace after a landmark DCA report identified intersectional barriers were locking them out of leadership positions.

In partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI) and Chief Executive Women (CEW), DCA launched phase one of the RISE project in January 2024 and has since onboarded six prominent organisations including Telstra and HCF.

After witnessing significant progress and positive outcomes in both the pilot and phase one cohorts, DCA is now calling for organisations to join the second and final cohort of the RISE project. 

“Through the RISE program we were able to identify barriers for racially marginalised women that weren’t previously called out in our race action plan or anti-racism work,” said Abbie Wright, Associate – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Arup.

"I was pleasantly surprised, most people think such programs are ‘One Size Fits All’ - elevating a person in the organisation for the benefit of the organisation- but [the RISE project has] demonstrated understanding and support for the individual CARM Woman, listening to her and supporting her personal journey,” said another participant.

Participating organisations will use an Australian-first self-audit tool to assess their organisation’s racial literacy which will inform a fit-for-purpose 12-month action plan for each organisation, including built-in training. They will also receive unparalleled support tailored to their specific needs, including access to a community of practice and subject matter experts to empower them to make meaningful strides within their existing D&I plan. 

DCA, SSI and CEW will also work with individual women within participating organisations to support and elevate their leadership journeys.

“DCA’s CARM Women in Leadership report found that despite being well positioned to contribute to their own and their organisation’s success, CARM women continue to be scarce across senior leadership positions in Australia,” said DCA CEO Lisa Annese.

“By participating in RISE, your organisation will reap the benefits of recognition as a leader in identifying and removing systemic barriers for CARM women - and the invaluable chance to drive significant change to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all.”

Applications close on Friday, 26 April 2024. For more information email

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 over two million Australians, representing almost 20% of the workforce.


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