Diversity in the Profession:

An Investigation into factors that impact upon, and potential strategies related to changing the current lack of diversity in the speech pathology profession

Despite the numerous work areas that are included in the speech pathology scope of practice, there is poor understanding in the general public of the breadth of clinical services provided by a speech pathologist.

The speech pathology profession has been described as a “pink collar” profession, the workforce demographics largely consists of females, born in Australia. The speech pathology workforce lacks diversity (Byrne, 2015a). There are a few males that enter into speech pathology, few people from non- English-speaking backgrounds and even less people who identify as Aboriginal. Only 0.2% of the speech pathology workforce identify as Aboriginal (Health Workforce Australia, 2014).

This project will have positive benefits to other health professionals, in particular similar allied health professions which lack professional diversity, for example, occupational therapy.

Dr Nicole Byrne from Humanities and Social Science is the Project Lead.