Workforce Mutuality

What is workforce mutuality?

Workforce Mutuality describes the extent to which the diversity of the workforce of an organisation or a sector reflects the actual diversity of the community.

Workforce Mutuality became a priority because a ‘diversity gap’ was observed between the diversity of the community across Melbourne’s west and the relative lack of diversity in the workforce of the health and community sectors.

Why does workforce mutuality matter?

Better access and delivery of services, increased satisfaction for consumers, better health outcomes, more equitable employment outcomes… Evidence shows that when the workforce is in sync with the diversity of the community it services, many health indicators go up.

Watch as members of the Workforce Mutuality Expert Advisory Panel explain why workforce mutuality matters.

Standards for Workforce Mutuality

Standards for Workforce Mutuality

The HealthWest Partnership Standards for Workforce Mutuality were launched in May 2018. They provide organisations with guidelines to build inclusive employment pathways with the community and be more responsive to the needs of a hugely diverse community.

Download a free copy of the  Standards for Workforce Mutuality

The Standards were developed with the support of an Expert Advisory Panel from across the health, community, employment, higher education and corporate sectors. They address a whole range of aspects of people’s diversity: cultural and linguistic, gender, sexual, ability and more.

Do you have feedback on the Standards for Workforce Mutuality?


The videos below provide a brief overview of the Standards.

Piloting the Standards for Workforce Mutuality

HealthWest recently piloted the Standards with five of our members organisations: Bolton Clarke, cohealth, commUnity+, IPC Health and Tweddle Child and Family Service. The pilot was overwhelmingly positive.

Download Pathways to Diversity: Evaluation of the Standards for Workforce Mutuality Pilot Final Report or Summary Report

  • The Standards were determined to be fit for purpose, effective and feasible for self-assessment.
  • Pilot organisations highlighted how easy it was to pick up and use the Standards straightaway, as well as the potential for the Standards to make an impact in other sectors such as the government and corporate sectors.
  • Members of the pilot group have already begun building workforce mutuality into their goals, strategic plans and workforce planning.

Supporting Tools

The following supporting tools emerged from the pilot. The Good Practice Guide is a live tool that will be continually updated as good practice examples are identified.

Download the Self Assessment Tool and the Good Practice Guide (coming soon). 

More info

  • View this poster presentation highlighting the importance of collecting and using staff diversity data to drive change and monitor progress (Joint presentation by HealthWest and Cultural Infusion)
  • Read about HealthWest’s commitment to Workforce Mutuality in our Position Statement.
  • Curious about workforce mutuality? Read about why the term was coined in Talking about diversity, mutuality and health.
  • Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for #workforcemutuality updates and other news from HealthWest Partnership.


Estelle Donse, Systems Integration Manager; (03) 9248 9654