The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Australian Workplaces
A recent report by Indeed surveyed over 2,000 working age Australians to look at the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) programs found within Australian workplaces.
The report highlighted the benefits of businesses including and maintaining DI&B programs as well as the issues that still exist in this area. Here we distil some of the key findings of this report for both employers and employees.
Why DI&B Initiatives Matter
- Organisations should look like the rest of society
– Australia is a diverse and multicultural nation so our workforce would reflect that.
– Businesses are increasingly recognising the value of inclusive workplaces.
- Employees support these programs
– The report found that 84% of people think it’s important to work for an organisation that promotes DI&B for everyone.
– Given that the majority of workers believe this, it’s not surprising that nearly three quarters of workers think that people in their workplace treat everyone equally regardless of background. While nearly four-in-five believe their employers would take appropriate action against discrimination.
- Discrimination is still occurring
– Although the majority of workers support diversity at work, only 60% of employees reported that their workplace actually employed people from various cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds.
– Larger organisations are almost 30% more likely to employ a diverse workforce than smaller organisations.
– Nearly a quarter of workers don’t believe everyone in their workplace is treated equally.
– Many LGBTIQ+ people say they’ve felt the need to hide their sexual orientation at work.
– Almost two-thirds of workers reported that they’ve felt the need to hide part of their identity at work (either sometimes or all the time).
– 35% of people with a disability have taken over two years to find work, compared with just 20% of all respondents.
How Businesses Benefit from DI&B Initiatives
DI&B programs are a key component in an employer’s branding. This isn’t just important from an ethical perspective, it’s also good business sense. Initiatives that businesses have in place to support diversity in the workplace contribute to how positively employees perceive their workplace.
Lack of inclusivity can lead to worker dissatisfaction and become a significant trigger for them to find a new job. 87% of workers who think their organisation promotes DI&B would recommend it to others, while just 37% of workers who thought their organisation doesn’t promote DI&B would recommend it to others.
This has a flow-on effect. Stakeholders, business partners and future employees are all influenced by the general perception of a company.
A 2018 Deloitte report suggested that workplaces with diverse and inclusive cultures are six times more likely to be innovative and agile. Inclusive businesses that reflect the diversity of humanity are more attractive places to work for the majority of people.