Expert SMSF insights

9 Dec, 2019

Diversity Inclusion Program

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SuperConcepts has a proud tradition of promoting diversity within its workforce. It’s at the forefront of what we do from recruitment to the application of our policies. Despite the improvements we’ve made in addressing the gender pay gap, encouraging males to take time off to be the primary caregiver and promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment, we acknowledge there is still work to do. As the business community continues to grapple with these issues, we are proud to be at the forefront of positive change with the Diversity Inclusion Program (DIP).

DIP is a professional work-experience program for qualified African Australians. The program consists of six months paid, supported work experience with SuperConcepts and is a gateway to further opportunities in the business sector. In partnership with Jesuit Social Services (JSS), participants receive a salary, cultural awareness training prior to starting and a mentor to provide support and assistance. The program aims to assist African Australians overcome a barrier often encountered by recent graduates: a lack of local professional experience. The program provides paid opportunities to work in business roles, gain experience and act as a stepping stone for further job opportunities and professional development.

Entrants are exposed to the Australian work culture, grow their professional network and develop soft and technical skills to update their resume. These are practical steps to help with finding further employment opportunities at the conclusion of the program - whether within the organisation or elsewhere. The program’s inaugural intake included two entrants, Abraham Alier and Maureen Kimeto. Both entrants have endured significant hardships, however, have become successful in their own rights.

Abraham, originally from South Sudan, escaped from the country as a young man fleeing the civil war. Separated from his entire family, Abraham lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for four years before making his way to Kakuma, Kenya where he settled in a UNHCR refugee camp. He finished high school and taught as a primary school teacher for three years before migrating to Australia and enrolling part time at Curtin University. In 2014 he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Taxation but was unable to find a job in his chosen profession, instead working as a security officer at shopping malls and events whilst looking for a job in the corporate sector. Maureen, originally from Kenya, graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Nairobi and worked for two years in financial services before moving to Canberra to undertake a master’s degree. After graduating with a Master’s in Professional Accounting, the reality of how hard it was to secure professional work dawned on her and has been unsuccessful in obtaining employment due to her lack of Australian experience.

Abraham and Maureen both joined SuperConcepts in October 2019 as a Client Services Manager and Fund Accountant respectively. We are honoured to have them in the organisation and look forward to their contribution to the team and organisation as a whole.

“Through the DIP, I have regained my self-esteem and I believe my success in this role will not only open doors for me but for other qualified African Australian professionals who are currently seeking opportunities in different industries in Australia.” – Maureen Kimeto

Talk of diversity in the workplace is nothing new, but as more individuals, organisations, and politicians speak about feminism, immigration, gender identity, and the primary caregiver gap, it is coming to the forefront of business news once again. As an organisation we understand we have a role to play in making corporate Australia a more inclusive place for all, a role we are proud to play a part in.

To learn more about the Diversity Inclusion Program please contact Wade Burgmann or Obakeng Mokhuane.


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