Worrying signs for diversity in Australian workplaces

Jane Lowney wins recruiter of the year

New trans-Tasman research has uncovered the extent of discrimination (gender, race, disability and age) in Australian and New Zealand workplaces with 82%, the equivalent of 15.5 million professionals, believing it negatively impacts workplace productivity, profitability and diversity.

Robert Walters report Embracing difference released today, finds 9 in 10 women feel discrimination exists in today’s workplace (compared to 73% of men), which is sure to sound alarm bells throughout Australia and New Zealand’s 3.5 million businesses.

Commenting on the findings Robert Walters Managing Director, ANZ, James Nicholson said, “Despite 72% of employees feeling that their workforce was diverse, we have so much more work to do beginning with introducing and promoting diversity frameworks in organisations. 53% of professionals were unaware if their organisation had a diversity strategy to address discrimination.

Of the industries surveyed the technology sector performed the best thanks to initiatives that have encouraged female participation, such as Girls in Tech, which promotes gender equality and diversity in recruitment practices. The tech sector is showing great leadership  and progress in this area, Mr Nicholson said

The report also revealed the two most common types of diversity discrimination, recruitment and remuneration, requires the most urgent attention, with one in five (21%) respondents believing that they had been personally overlooked or disadvantaged during recruitment processes because of their gender. While more than half (55%) of female respondents believed they received less pay than men for jobs at the same level of seniority. As opposed to 16% of men that felt this was the case.

While exposing the problem, the report is also quick to identify the positives of an inclusive, positive and diverse workplace.

“The advantages of a diverse workforce are numerous with respondents believing a diverse workforce free from discrimination, enabled a more skilled workforce (67%), greater creativity and innovation (63%) and the ability to attract and retain the best talent (60%).

“At the end of the day diversity is something worth pursuing. It is more than gender, disability and race. It is truly about representing as many facets of society as we can in our workforces. It is about choosing to include rather than exclude – to embrace difference not exaggerate it. And it is about making our organisations stronger. Because a diverse workforce creates a stronger culture and is ultimately more productive and profitable” Mr Nicholson said.

The report Embracing difference can be downloaded here.


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Sarah Archibald - 02 8289 3248


About Robert Walters

Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading global recruitment consultancies, specialising in the placement of permanent, contract and temporary positions across all levels of seniority. Our teams of professional consultants are renowned for their professionalism, integrity and exceptional recruitment consultancy services. Using a flexible approach to recruitment, we are committed to matching client needs to candidate aspirations to create mutual benefit for both. Across Australia and New Zealand we have offices in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Chatswood, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington.


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