How would you define true diversity and inclusion (D&I) inside the office? Most people would say a workplace that values all employees and candidates no matter their race, sexual orientation, age, religion and other differences. Some people consider true diversity and inclusion as a strategy to improve performance and profitability. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t acknowledge diversity and inclusion at all. Australia is on its way to embracing a future of work that breaks down diversity barriers and bias in employment, recruitment and service.
Developments in Australia
Issues of diversity and inclusion in Australian offices are still there but we are seeing significant developments, both big and small. According to the 2019 – 2020 Inclusion @Work Index report by Diversity Council Asia, 43% of workers fully support their organisation for taking steps towards establishing a diverse and inclusive workplace. That is an improvement from 37% in 2017. There is still a long way to go.
Here in Australia, diversity and inclusion enable organisations and employees to be more creative and innovative as well as develop progressive policies. Diversity concurrently benefits client needs and demands. Organisations with strong diversity and inclusion are also able to attract and retain a wide range of capable talents.
Australia’s Department of Health is at the frontlines of championing different types of diversity not only in health but across all industries. According to the department, the mission for better diversity and inclusion in the workplace leads to a vision of ‘good relationships, respect and opportunities’ for all employees.
The Diversity Council Australia is working with the University of Sydney to better understand the value of diversity and inclusion for organisations and employees. This partnership is trying to figure out how organisations can measure ‘the degree and breadth of culturally diverse talent in their leadership team, workforce, customer base, and labour market pool.’ They are calling it, ‘COUNTING CULTURE’ and is expected to progress in 2021.
Diversity and Inclusion Starts at Recruitment and Candidate Care
Photo by Diversity Council Australia
To achieve true diversity and inclusion, we must first establish it in recruitment and candidate care. Australia for many years has been plagued with race, age and gender discrimination and bias that hindered growth and opportunities for capable employees who are deserving.
Organisations and their talent acquisition teams must rid of all forms of discrimination and bias with age, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, caring responsibilities, beliefs and intersex status. There are organisations not only in Australia on board the idea of artificial intelligence to implement diverse recruitment. There are strong cases to support this concept, but true diversity and inclusion should always be centred on human interaction and compassion.
It is the ability of recruiters to assess all candidates fairly without an ounce of discrimination against anyone. Focus on skills, credentials, experience and drive. From there, we realise that great talent with so much promise can come from anyone, no matter who they are, where they came from, or what they believe in.
Many industries in Australia are struggling with skill shortages and it looks like the problem is here to stay. That is something we can resolve together as Australia has one of the strongest workforces in the globe. Experts and industry leaders are now greatly considering true diversity and inclusion as the primary solution to the country’s skill shortage dilemma. The call for diversity and inclusion is getting louder and stronger in health and technology.
Something to identify with
If you search the internet, you’ll see dozens of articles telling you how to achieve true diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We advise you give them a read. However, we want to leave you with this, diversity and inclusion is more than just making people feel like they belong. It is about helping people find value in the things they do for the sake of others and helping them break down every piece of discrimination they’ve endured in the past. Encourage and help them enable themselves to be the best they can be.
Here in Quay, we have a diverse team that enables all of us to create strong relationships, personal and professional with our clients and candidates. That is something we will always be proud of.