How this company boosted all of its D&I metrics with a robust framework


Cenitex has increased the proportion of employees who believe their colleagues actively support diversity and inclusion by 11 per cent. Here’s how the organisation is driving strong D&I outcomes.

When Rebecca Gauci Maurici CAHRI joined Cenitex – a state-owned enterprise that delivers technology services to the Victorian government – in 2019, she noticed there was limited data pertaining to the diverse composition of its workforce. 

“We hadn’t conducted a survey which understood this for several years, and there wasn’t much data to form an understanding of the makeup of our workforce,” says Gauci Maurici, who is the organisation’s Director of Culture and Capability.

“Cenitex had very limited visibility and activity for diversity and inclusion.”

With this in mind, Gauci Maurici and the HR team began collecting feedback from employees and leaders that would help to paint a detailed picture about current perceptions of D&I in their workplace.

Through feedback, surveys and conservations, employees called for action in a range of areas, including the need to increase opportunities for diverse talent in job placements, project work and training; a desire for more celebrations, events and social opportunities; and a need for greater education around creating a safe and supportive work environment.

“We were also getting a lot of feedback from staff who were saying, ‘I want to be able to share more of who I am and what matters to me in the workplace,’” says Gauci Maurici.

“The results indicated that there was a need and an opportunity for us to explore how people can bring their full selves to work.”

The feedback gleaned from diverse employees across the company led to the formation of the Diversity and Inclusion Framework which resulted in Cenitex being named a finalist for AHRI’s Inclusive Workplace award. Separately, the organisation has also been nominated for the Talent Management award.

“[Being nominated] was an opportunity for us to understand, capture and celebrate the breadth of things done collaboratively with our staff over the time, and the impacts it had on the experiences of our people,” says Gauci Maurici.

“Being recognised professionally by AHRI is an absolute honour and a testament to the work undertaken by our people and our leaders.”


Register for the AHRI Awards Celebration on 1 December to celebrate organisations and HR professionals
who are spearheading change in the workplace.


Unpacking the D&I framework 

The Cenitex Diversity and Inclusion framework is underpinned by an overarching strategy that sets out the governance and guiding principles for the project.

This strategy includes the establishment of a D&I council that encompasses six employees who each head up a diversity stream (intergenerational, cultural, disability, gender equality, Aboriginal and LGBTIQ+). It also includes executive leadership team sponsors for each of the streams, and the CEO.

The team also created three general member roles for subject experts, which are undertaken by employees, to help drive D&I forward. These include:

  1. A talent and resourcing member who answers questions such as: ‘How can Cenitex create meaningful employment pathways and build recruitment opportunities for diverse groups?’ And, ‘How can Cenitex build knowledge about inclusive hiring practices in its people leaders?’

  2. A leadership representative from the senior leadership team.

    “They’re focused on how we meaningfully engage our senior leaders at the director level in diversity and inclusion work, and how we bring team leaders into the conversation as well,” says Gauci Maurici.

  3. A procurement manager who considers how Cenitex can create partnerships with diverse vendors and customers to drive greater inclusion.

Each stream also features strong employee representation, with over 10 per cent of staff involved in reference groups and others involved in consultations, undertaking training or participating in events and activities. Each stream either has or is developing an action plan which will guide and help all levels of the organisation to pursue activities to create meaningful change.

Within this overarching framework, Cenitex has identified core objectives, including to improve representation of employees from diverse backgrounds, and to enable and embed practices that support D&I.

These objectives have led Cenitex to create opportunities for current and aspiring female leaders to gain additional experience and skills.

“While our executive leadership team is female-dominated, up until recently we had very few women at the director and team leader level, so we wanted to create change at those levels,” says Gauci Maurici.

“Every time we’ve run a leadership program, we’ve actively promoted the next level of potential by inviting them to those programs and giving them a seat at the table. They have exposure to senior leaders by being part of those conversations. We have created the space to have more women at that level, and other women can see and aspire to be that.”

“Being recognised professionally by AHRI is an absolute honour and a testament to the work undertaken by our people and leaders.” – Rebecca Gauci Maurici

With the goal of inspiring younger women to enter the technology sector, Cenitex also launched Daughters@Work Day in 2020.

“Younger females came in and participated in different activity stations. We brought technology to life with green screens and sphero balls, and created ways for them to interact with technology.

“It was incredible to create visibility and facilitate opportunities for younger women.”

Not only did the initiative generate excitement in the next generation, it also opened the door to new opportunities for existing employees.

“One staff member in the finance team took a 12-month sabbatical to go and work in a girls’ school to share her knowledge about learning pathways. Those sorts of opportunities don’t happen unless you create the space for them.” 

Cenitex also aimed to better understand and reduce barriers that exist for those from diverse backgrounds and to provide a voice and vehicle for diverse groups to share ideas. These core objectives led to the introduction of a range of initiatives. 

These include rolling out the SBS Inclusion Program modules that cover topics such as appropriate workplace behaviour and diversity including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, gender and disability, and producing a quarterly D&I newsletter, ‘The Inclusive,’ that celebrates unique talents and highlights how individuals’ needs are supported at Cenitex.

Cenitex also hosts a coffee conversations series that builds understanding and awareness of diversity. Speakers have included Viv Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and representatives of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria for NAIDOC Week.

“The results indicated that there was a need and an opportunity for us to explore how people can bring their full selves to work.” – Rebecca Gauci Maurici

The organisation has also turned its attention outwards, looking at how it can support the broader public sector on its diversity and inclusion journeys.

This has been achieved by providing the IT infrastructure for staff-led diversity groups, such as the Disability Network, Pride Network and Women of Colour Network, across government departments in Victoria.

“We’re enabling others to do great work in the public sector by enabling them technologically. Creating opportunities to connect people has been a really nice contribution that we’ve been able to make.”

Cultivating a safe space

Cenitex provides platforms for employees to share their personal stories in a supportive environment.

“One staff member talked about his experience navigating the workplace as a deaf person. A number of staff had never interacted with this employee, but they were moved by hearing his experience and they’ve now signed up to do a sign language course so they can interact with this employee from a place of greater understanding.”

Want to better communicate with deaf or hard of hearing employees in the workplace? Read HRM’s article to learn some common Auslan phrases.

Seeing how employees are putting their hands up to share and be vulnerable in front of their colleagues has been a “real litmus test” in the success of the framework, says Gauci Maurici.

“The most meaningful part for me both personally and professionally has been the visible change in our people – feeling comfortable to share themselves so vulnerably, to advocate for diversity of thought around the table, and the passion of our people and leaders to genuinely learn more about and demonstrate inclusiveness towards each other.”

Pillars of success

Recent survey results provide strong support for Cenitex’s success in advancing D&I:

  • 93 per cent of employees believe their colleagues actively support D&I in the workplace. Since 2020, this proportion has increased by 11 per cent.
  • 74 per cent of employees believe there is a positive culture at Cenitex for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and this has increased by 16 per cent since 2020.
  • 91 per cent of employees believe there to be a positive culture at Cenitex for people of diverse cultural backgrounds. This is up nine per cent since 2020.
  • 74 per cent of employees believe there to be a positive culture at Cenitex for people of different ages. This is up nine per cent since 2020.
  • 87 per cent of people believe others accept their colleagues for being different. Since 2020, this proportion has increased by 8 per cent.

Having the ongoing support and engagement from leaders at Cenitex has been a key driver of this success, says Gauci Maurici.

“They have been the biggest advocates in our corner. They’ve been so invested in coaching and mentoring each leader of our streams.

“Leadership support has been a real driver for resourcing and funding. Getting their support and having them as visible advocates for the work was critical in driving outcomes.”

It was equally important for employees to be a part of each step of the process, and approach the framework with a sense of ownership.

“We were guided by what our staff wanted, and they were clear they wanted diversity and inclusion to be more than just lip service,” says Gauci Maurici. “They wanted it to be about real-life action and concrete visible activities, and something that wasn’t just driven by the HR team.

“Making it staff-led will drive the outcomes your staff want to see and be involved in. That might mean you need to hit pause on some of the actions you were pushing for, but it’s about weighing that up with the people-led actions that will create the most meaningful, human-centred change.”

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Mark Shaw
Mark Shaw
1 year ago

With all respect, such initiative and outcomes are not new. While some emphasis on diversity etc has occurred on this occasion, there is no need to focus on diversity etc to achieve such outcomes.

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How this company boosted all of its D&I metrics with a robust framework


Cenitex has increased the proportion of employees who believe their colleagues actively support diversity and inclusion by 11 per cent. Here’s how the organisation is driving strong D&I outcomes.

When Rebecca Gauci Maurici CAHRI joined Cenitex – a state-owned enterprise that delivers technology services to the Victorian government – in 2019, she noticed there was limited data pertaining to the diverse composition of its workforce. 

“We hadn’t conducted a survey which understood this for several years, and there wasn’t much data to form an understanding of the makeup of our workforce,” says Gauci Maurici, who is the organisation’s Director of Culture and Capability.

“Cenitex had very limited visibility and activity for diversity and inclusion.”

With this in mind, Gauci Maurici and the HR team began collecting feedback from employees and leaders that would help to paint a detailed picture about current perceptions of D&I in their workplace.

Through feedback, surveys and conservations, employees called for action in a range of areas, including the need to increase opportunities for diverse talent in job placements, project work and training; a desire for more celebrations, events and social opportunities; and a need for greater education around creating a safe and supportive work environment.

“We were also getting a lot of feedback from staff who were saying, ‘I want to be able to share more of who I am and what matters to me in the workplace,’” says Gauci Maurici.

“The results indicated that there was a need and an opportunity for us to explore how people can bring their full selves to work.”

The feedback gleaned from diverse employees across the company led to the formation of the Diversity and Inclusion Framework which resulted in Cenitex being named a finalist for AHRI’s Inclusive Workplace award. Separately, the organisation has also been nominated for the Talent Management award.

“[Being nominated] was an opportunity for us to understand, capture and celebrate the breadth of things done collaboratively with our staff over the time, and the impacts it had on the experiences of our people,” says Gauci Maurici.

“Being recognised professionally by AHRI is an absolute honour and a testament to the work undertaken by our people and our leaders.”


Register for the AHRI Awards Celebration on 1 December to celebrate organisations and HR professionals
who are spearheading change in the workplace.


Unpacking the D&I framework 

The Cenitex Diversity and Inclusion framework is underpinned by an overarching strategy that sets out the governance and guiding principles for the project.

This strategy includes the establishment of a D&I council that encompasses six employees who each head up a diversity stream (intergenerational, cultural, disability, gender equality, Aboriginal and LGBTIQ+). It also includes executive leadership team sponsors for each of the streams, and the CEO.

The team also created three general member roles for subject experts, which are undertaken by employees, to help drive D&I forward. These include:

  1. A talent and resourcing member who answers questions such as: ‘How can Cenitex create meaningful employment pathways and build recruitment opportunities for diverse groups?’ And, ‘How can Cenitex build knowledge about inclusive hiring practices in its people leaders?’

  2. A leadership representative from the senior leadership team.

    “They’re focused on how we meaningfully engage our senior leaders at the director level in diversity and inclusion work, and how we bring team leaders into the conversation as well,” says Gauci Maurici.

  3. A procurement manager who considers how Cenitex can create partnerships with diverse vendors and customers to drive greater inclusion.

Each stream also features strong employee representation, with over 10 per cent of staff involved in reference groups and others involved in consultations, undertaking training or participating in events and activities. Each stream either has or is developing an action plan which will guide and help all levels of the organisation to pursue activities to create meaningful change.

Within this overarching framework, Cenitex has identified core objectives, including to improve representation of employees from diverse backgrounds, and to enable and embed practices that support D&I.

These objectives have led Cenitex to create opportunities for current and aspiring female leaders to gain additional experience and skills.

“While our executive leadership team is female-dominated, up until recently we had very few women at the director and team leader level, so we wanted to create change at those levels,” says Gauci Maurici.

“Every time we’ve run a leadership program, we’ve actively promoted the next level of potential by inviting them to those programs and giving them a seat at the table. They have exposure to senior leaders by being part of those conversations. We have created the space to have more women at that level, and other women can see and aspire to be that.”

“Being recognised professionally by AHRI is an absolute honour and a testament to the work undertaken by our people and leaders.” – Rebecca Gauci Maurici

With the goal of inspiring younger women to enter the technology sector, Cenitex also launched Daughters@Work Day in 2020.

“Younger females came in and participated in different activity stations. We brought technology to life with green screens and sphero balls, and created ways for them to interact with technology.

“It was incredible to create visibility and facilitate opportunities for younger women.”

Not only did the initiative generate excitement in the next generation, it also opened the door to new opportunities for existing employees.

“One staff member in the finance team took a 12-month sabbatical to go and work in a girls’ school to share her knowledge about learning pathways. Those sorts of opportunities don’t happen unless you create the space for them.” 

Cenitex also aimed to better understand and reduce barriers that exist for those from diverse backgrounds and to provide a voice and vehicle for diverse groups to share ideas. These core objectives led to the introduction of a range of initiatives. 

These include rolling out the SBS Inclusion Program modules that cover topics such as appropriate workplace behaviour and diversity including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, gender and disability, and producing a quarterly D&I newsletter, ‘The Inclusive,’ that celebrates unique talents and highlights how individuals’ needs are supported at Cenitex.

Cenitex also hosts a coffee conversations series that builds understanding and awareness of diversity. Speakers have included Viv Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and representatives of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria for NAIDOC Week.

“The results indicated that there was a need and an opportunity for us to explore how people can bring their full selves to work.” – Rebecca Gauci Maurici

The organisation has also turned its attention outwards, looking at how it can support the broader public sector on its diversity and inclusion journeys.

This has been achieved by providing the IT infrastructure for staff-led diversity groups, such as the Disability Network, Pride Network and Women of Colour Network, across government departments in Victoria.

“We’re enabling others to do great work in the public sector by enabling them technologically. Creating opportunities to connect people has been a really nice contribution that we’ve been able to make.”

Cultivating a safe space

Cenitex provides platforms for employees to share their personal stories in a supportive environment.

“One staff member talked about his experience navigating the workplace as a deaf person. A number of staff had never interacted with this employee, but they were moved by hearing his experience and they’ve now signed up to do a sign language course so they can interact with this employee from a place of greater understanding.”

Want to better communicate with deaf or hard of hearing employees in the workplace? Read HRM’s article to learn some common Auslan phrases.

Seeing how employees are putting their hands up to share and be vulnerable in front of their colleagues has been a “real litmus test” in the success of the framework, says Gauci Maurici.

“The most meaningful part for me both personally and professionally has been the visible change in our people – feeling comfortable to share themselves so vulnerably, to advocate for diversity of thought around the table, and the passion of our people and leaders to genuinely learn more about and demonstrate inclusiveness towards each other.”

Pillars of success

Recent survey results provide strong support for Cenitex’s success in advancing D&I:

  • 93 per cent of employees believe their colleagues actively support D&I in the workplace. Since 2020, this proportion has increased by 11 per cent.
  • 74 per cent of employees believe there is a positive culture at Cenitex for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and this has increased by 16 per cent since 2020.
  • 91 per cent of employees believe there to be a positive culture at Cenitex for people of diverse cultural backgrounds. This is up nine per cent since 2020.
  • 74 per cent of employees believe there to be a positive culture at Cenitex for people of different ages. This is up nine per cent since 2020.
  • 87 per cent of people believe others accept their colleagues for being different. Since 2020, this proportion has increased by 8 per cent.

Having the ongoing support and engagement from leaders at Cenitex has been a key driver of this success, says Gauci Maurici.

“They have been the biggest advocates in our corner. They’ve been so invested in coaching and mentoring each leader of our streams.

“Leadership support has been a real driver for resourcing and funding. Getting their support and having them as visible advocates for the work was critical in driving outcomes.”

It was equally important for employees to be a part of each step of the process, and approach the framework with a sense of ownership.

“We were guided by what our staff wanted, and they were clear they wanted diversity and inclusion to be more than just lip service,” says Gauci Maurici. “They wanted it to be about real-life action and concrete visible activities, and something that wasn’t just driven by the HR team.

“Making it staff-led will drive the outcomes your staff want to see and be involved in. That might mean you need to hit pause on some of the actions you were pushing for, but it’s about weighing that up with the people-led actions that will create the most meaningful, human-centred change.”

Subscribe to receive comments
Notify me of
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2 Comments
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Mark Shaw
Mark Shaw
1 year ago

With all respect, such initiative and outcomes are not new. While some emphasis on diversity etc has occurred on this occasion, there is no need to focus on diversity etc to achieve such outcomes.

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.
More on HRM