Equity and diversity are fluid notions, which involves developing and maintaining an environment that is inclusive and equal for people from all background and lifestyles.

UQ values equity,diversity and inclusion, and seeks to reflect the broader community by attracting and retaining high quality staff from a range of backgrounds. UQ is committed to identifying and addressing areas of under-representation amongst staff. The University aims to provide a respectful and healthy work environment for staff from all backgrounds.

The UQ Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Unit, Human Resources Division, takes a proactive and preventative stance in regards to equity, diversity and inclusion matters to ensure that all staff members have equal access to resources, have equal opportunities and are able to enjoy a pleasant, inclusive and diverse working environment.

The University has identified six key focus areas of equity and diversity in relation to staff, including: 

To address these focus areas, a number of programs, training, resources and policies have been developed and are provided by Workplace Diversity and Inclusion.

More information about these six focus areas can be found below and via the side-bar navigation. 

Image of a Jacaranda tree in front of the sandstone buildings on the UQ St Lucia campus

Focus Areas section

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The University of Queensland is committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples learning, discovery and engagement.

The University of Queensland Strategic Plan 2014-2017, outlines how the University's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples strategies and objectives aligns with its' mission to strive for the personal and professional success of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and alumni, to positively influence society through knowledge, to support and develop inspirational leadership and to advance ideas that benefit the wider community. 

The University actively supports the:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit strongly supports the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and recognises the enormous contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and perspectives bring to UQ's Learning, Discovery and Engagement activities.
  • Australian Indigenous Employment Coordinator: The University of Queensland is committed to the ongoing employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across a range of job types, including; traineeships, trades, administration and academic positions. UQ recognises the value and significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in achieving and maintaining a diverse community.

The University of Queensland promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace that is reflective of the wider community. In order to promote an inclusive, yet culturally diverse workplace, a number of resources, support services, policies and procedures are available to staff members.

Image of the great court at the St Lucia campus of UQ.


Gender Equity

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) explains that gender equality in the workplace is achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of their gender.

Although there has been some improvement, gender inequality is still a real and prevalent issue in Australian workplaces. WGEA identifies the main areas of this inequality as being:

  • Women earning less than men in the same position.
  • Women less likely to advance their careers as far as men.
  • Women more likely to spend their final years in poverty.
  • Men have more difficulty accessing family-friendly policies, or flexible work arrangements than women.
  • Gender stereotypes.

These inequalities exist due to a number of cultural and structural barriers evident in our society, which can be reflected in the workplace. In order to create gender equity in the workplace, gender stereotypes must be dismantled and access to resources must be made equal to both genders. Structures must be developed to reduce inequalities in career opportunities, and growth, between genders.

Image of women in STEMM

The University of Queensland is committed to improving gender equity in the workplace. Based on guidelines provided by WGEA, the SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN and the University of Queensland Strategic Plan 2014-2017, the University is striving to achieve a number of aspects of workplace equality. These involve:

  • Increased proportion of women in senior positions.
  • Increased support of career progression of women in research.
  • Provide equal remuneration for women and men for work of equal or comparable value.
  • Remove barriers that prevent women from participating equally in the workplace.
  • Provide more access to resources for women to achieve leadership roles.
  • Elimination of assumptions of caring responsibilities of men and women.
  • Change workplace culture to embrace gender equality as a normative practice.
  • Assist in making transition from parental leave to return to work as smooth as possible.

In order to achieve these objectives of gender equity a number of resources, programs, policies and training are available at The University of Queensland. If you have any questions or would like any further information about this, please contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Cultural and linguistic diversity

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

Australia has a culturally and linguistically diverse population, with many residents born overseas and originating from non-English speaking backgrounds. Australia is also home to many refugees, who often have a unique and traumatic experience of migration.

Research cited by the Queensland Government indicates that culturally and linguistically diverse communities experience barriers in participating in society. These barriers can include; English not being a first language, cultural misunderstanding, cultural stereotypes, unequal access to resources, racism, discrimination and harassment.

The University of Queensland promotes diversity in the University community through our people, ideas and cultures. This fosters an environment that is respectful, vibrant and inclusive and allows for the growth and empowerment of staff from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.

Image of a group of people sitting and talking together at the University of Queensland St Lucia campus

The objectives in this priority area of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, are aligned with The University of Queensland Strategic Plan 2014-2017, and include:

  • Having strong policies in line with legislation that clearly outline The University of Queensland's strong anti-harassment, anti-discrimination and anti-racism stance.
  • Recognising and promoting the importance of the global researcher who is culturally aware.
  • Providing resources and programs for staff from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Providing training and resources for staff and supervisors to raise awarenes of cultural diversity to promote inclusive workplace practices.
  • Promoting inclusive language.
  • Developing and maintaining an inclusive, respectful and pleasant environment for staff from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.

In order to achieve the objectives of cultural and linguistic diversity a number of resourcesprogramspolicies and training are available at The University of Queensland. If you have any questions or would like any further information about this, please contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion



The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines disability as an umbrella term that covers impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. WHO defines an impairment as a problem in bodily function or structure; an activity limitation as a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in being involved in life situations.

Disability is not just a health problem: it is complex and reflects the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which they live. The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) estimates that approximately one in five Australians have a disability, and often experience significant barriers and unequal access to resources in society. It is important to understand that disability can be both visible and invisible to others. Assumptions should not be made about whether a person has or does not have a disability, or how a disability affects a person's ability.

Image of the University of Queensland sign on St Lucia campus.

The University of Queensland Disbaility Action Plam 2016-2018 provides an operational framework for the University's commitment to disability inclusiveness, and aspiration of becoming a disability confident organisation. The University is committed to developing and maintaing an environment that is accessible to people of all abilities. As part of this commitment to being a disability confident organisation, Human Resources develops and maintains a number of  initiatives to ensure disability inclusiveness is achieved and maintained by The University of Queensland. These initiatives include:

  • A best practice Disability Action Plan.
  • Policies, based on relevant legislation, ensuring the inclusiveness and fair treatment of people with disabilities at UQ.
  • Providing support services, such as Employee Assist and Reasonable Adjustment, for persons with disability and for supervisors who manage staff who have a disability.
  • Providing training programs to educate and inform staff, particularly supervisors, of the challenges and barriers that persons with disability may face, and providing strategies for how they can assist staff members with disability by removing these barriers.
  • Providing a number of resources and programs to develop and maintain an informed and inclusive culture within the UQ community.
  • Providing accessible facilities, resources and services that are of a high standard.

A number of resourcesprogramspolicies and training are available at The University of Queensland. If you have any questions or would like any further information about this, please contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Gender and sexuality diversity

Gender and Sexuality Diversity

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) recognises that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) people in Australia can experience discrimination, harassment and hostility in many areas of their everyday life. This can include discrimination and bullying at work, difficulties accessing appropriate health services and community attitudes that can lead to harassment and violence.

The University of Queensland is committed to developing and maintaining a working environment that is diverse, inclusive and supportive.

Initiatives for UQ LGBTI staff members include:

  • Active membership of Pride in Diversity. Pride in Diversity is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that works with Australian employers to promote LGBTI inclusiveness in the workplace. UQ works with Pride in Diversity to develop and maintain an inclusive work environment, report annually on programs, initiatives and objectives in regards to this commitment, and to build resources to further educate the UQ community on LGBTI inclusiveness. The University of Queensland Ally Network is an award winning network, receiving a Bronze award in the 2017and 2016 Pride in Diversity Australian Workplace Equality Index. Based on the 2017 AWEI results, this positions UQ is the top Queensland university and in the top seven Australian universities in gender and sexuality diversity inclusion.

2017 AWEI Bronze award logo

Image of the Pride in Diversity logo.

Image of UQ 2016 Australian Workplace Equality Index Bronze award from Pride in Diversity





  • Develop and maintain the UQ Ally Network to actively promote a supportive, inclusive environment for LGBTI staff and students.
  • Education of staff to create a well-informed and inclusive UQ community.
  • Provide resources to help support supervisors to respectfully interact with gender and sexuality diverse staff.
  • Have policies that are inclusive of gender and sexuality diverse staff and students, and use an inclusive definition of partner and families that is inclusive of same-sex partnerships and family units.
  • Have policies, informed by legislation, that demonstrate UQ’s strong commitment to removing any barriers that LGBTI community members may face.
  • The University's Recruitment and Selection Manual which emulates best practices and equity and diversity principles.
  • Develop and maintain a diverse and inclusive UQ community.

In order to achieve these objectives of gender and sexuality diverse inclusion a number of resourcesprogramspolicies and training are available at The University of Queensland. If you have any questions or would like any further information about this, please contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Image of the UQ Ally Network logo


Equity and Diversity Resources

This page shows the resources available for UQ staff in relation to equity and diversity matters. Please use the link or sidebar navigation to view this page.