A new study by employment services provider atWork Australia surveyed over 1,600 businesses to determine attitudes towards workplace diversity.
According to the findings, over a third of Australians would refuse to work at a non-inclusive workplace.
Those employers who do foster diversity and inclusion are set to reap the benefits with greater revenue returns, higher profit margins and net income among these, the research found. In addition, businesses who make this a priority see staff retention rates climb by 90 per cent.
“Currently, 66 per cent of Australians are employed; however, this figure drops to 48 per cent for those living with disability and 46.6 per cent for Indigenous Australians. Additionally, there are 1.5 million jobless families nationwide, which accounts for one in five,” said Sotir Kondov, atWork Australia’s executive general manager for Disability Employment Services.
“2021 presents a unique opportunity to give everyone a fair go at employment, which starts with educating business leaders on the benefits of diverse teams. For example, industry research shows that employees living with disability generate less turnover and have superior attendance over their peers.
“Australia’s talent pool is rich with diverse perspectives, with one in five Australians living with a disability, injury or health condition, 3.3 per cent coming from Indigenous communities and 3.2 per cent identifying as LGBTQI+.
“Businesses have the chance to reap the benefits of creating an employment landscape that works for everyone.”
Tom Lowther, general manager at mineral testing laboratory Bureau Veritas, which has employed Indigenous people through working with atWork Australia, echoed a similar sentiment.
“Diversity is good for business,” Mr Lowther said.
“I’m surprised that there are still businesses in Australia that are not geared towards inclusive workplaces. We have had nothing but positive experiences working with diverse groups, and the assistance from atWork Australia in understanding our talent requirements and providing ongoing support for each placement has been invaluable.
“We champion diversity at every stage, from our ethics to our training programs and even first-day inductions. By opening the door to employment to everyone, we’ve helped people from a range of backgrounds and groups excel in their jobs and progress in their careers, which in turn helps the business — it’s a win-win.”