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Chemistry Australia takes the lead on DEI

May 21, 2024

Three people smile at the camera. The man on the left is bald, has glasses and is wearing a black tux, the lady in the middle is strawberry blonde and wearing an orange blazer and holding a trophy, and the lady on the right is wearing a red blazer and has short brown hair and glasses. They are standing in front of a Chemistry Australia banner.

Chemistry Australia is shining a light for its member organisations, leading change in workplace diversity.

The industry association recently held its second annual Industry Awards where, for the first time, it introduced a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award category – recognising the work of Chemistry Australia members to champion diversity and foster inclusion in their own workplaces.

The introduction of the Award demonstrates a commitment from Chemistry Australia to shift towards greater inclusion and equity in Australia’s chemistry industry.

“The new award reflects the genuine intent of our industry’s leaders and our Board to foster greater diversity, which we see as a critical investment in the future of our sector,” said Chemistry Australia CEO Samantha Read at the announcement of the award earlier this year. 

“We are proud to partner with Platinum Sponsor Jobsbank on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, which aligns with our ongoing work to promote the development of women in STEM and support our industry’s future leaders.” 

The new award category was sponsored by Jobsbank.

Jobsbank CEO Dr Karina Davis said the two organisations were aligned on values: future focused, and driven to support best business practice.

On Wednesday May 1, Dr Davis was present at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt where the first winner of Chemistry Australia’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award were announced.

BASF Australia was chosen as the winner, with DuluxGroup and SNF Australia named as runners-up.

In its nomination, BASF Australia demonstrated how it had progressed on its diversity journey by implementing strategies aimed at growing diversity in leadership and employment, improving employee wellbeing, and transforming company culture. This journey was largely driven by its Women in BASF Working Group, and the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Council. Specific strategies included setting ambitious gender targets, implementing policies that tackle disparities amongst staff, and partnering with organisations like Champions of Change Coalition to advocate for women in the workforce.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dr Davis praised all three finalists for their work in the diversity, equity and inclusion space.

“When businesses decide to go down this path it becomes more than just embracing ethical principles—it’s a savvy strategy that ignites innovation, stimulates creativity, and strengthens the very fabric of their organisations,” she said.

“The three finalists we commend this evening, have all embraced crucial first steps, showing us the tangible benefits of early and earnest efforts toward inclusivity. All three finalists have welcomed a plethora of fresh ideas and are building teams reflective of the rich diversity of the communities around them. Seeing how these efforts can blossom into achievements is fantastic.

“Jobsbank is thrilled about this partnership and looks forward to working further with Chemistry Australia and its members to build more inclusive workplaces,” Dr Davis said.

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