Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Case study


DFAT engaged Cognicity in March 2017 based on our empirical evidence based approach, and expertise in mitigating unconscious bias to design and deliver 35 face-to-face workshops to senior managers and key human resources staff, DFAT selection panels and committees involved in placements, postings and recruitment and to train DFAT staff to deliver these briefings. Feedback from DFAT staff following the workshops was very positive, with over 90% of those who provided feedback agreeing that their knowledge of the topic had increased and this would assist them in their work. DFAT also licensed Cognicity Academy e-learning which was also positively received by staff.


Cognicity was also contracted to identify and recommend ways to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias in DFAT’s selection processes and practices, with a specific focus on gender. Insights gained from an exploratory process, including insights from workshops, together with our expert knowledge of evidence based best practice formed the basis of a report provided to the Department Secretary Frances Adamson. The project was completed by 30 June 2017 as requested.