Landmark research reveals the state of inclusion in Australian workplaces

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Topics Inclusion

Ground-breaking research has thrown a spotlight on the importance of inclusion in Australia’s workplaces.

Led by DCA and sponsored by Suncorp, the Inclusion@Work Index surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,000 Australian workers. It clearly identifies the benefits of inclusion and the need for Australian companies to put words into action and invest in creating inclusive places to work.

The survey found that inclusion is good for customers and for employees. Workers in inclusive teams are almost five times more likely to indicate their team provides excellent customer/client service. Employees working in an inclusive team are 19 times more likely to be very satisfied with their job.  

"The DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index establishes the first national index of inclusion experiences of Australian workers and found there was a high level of support for inclusion in Australian workplaces with some 75 percent of people in support or strong support of inclusion programs," DCA CEO Lisa Annese said.

The study found that employees in inclusive teams are:

  • 19 times more likely to be very satisfied with their job compared to workers in non-inclusive workplaces (58% to 3%)
  • 10 times more likely to be highly effective (58% to 6%)
  • 9 times more likely to innovate (45% to 5%)
  • 4 times more likely to stay with their employer over the coming year (62% to 16%).

However although the majority of men surveyed (69%) supported diversity and inclusion, their level of support was less than that of women (82%) and other demographic groups.  This relatively lower level of support was more evident among men from Anglo-cultural backgrounds (65%), men who were older (66%), and men who had no caring responsibilities (68%).

It was also revealed that more than one in five Australian workers experienced discrimination or harassment last year alone (22%). This figure spiked to 38 percent for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians, followed closely by Australians with a disability (34%) and Australians under 30 (30%).

Suncorp CEO & Managing Director Michael Cameron said creating a more inclusive workplace encourages greater diversity, which leads to better business performance.

“We sponsored this research because we know the value of having an inclusive work environment and the positive impact it can have across industries. The findings will start important conversations that lead to more inclusiveness in all types of organisations,” Mr Cameron said.

“Our businesses perform at their best when leaders provide an environment where people feel included, connected and valued.”

Ms Annese added, "The main thing is that we see this as an opportunity – one where we not only provide safe and inclusive workplaces for our employees, but also boost business outcomes along the way.

“Cutting harassment and increasing job satisfaction has significant repercussions. And inclusion, as it turns out, plays a much bigger part in achieving this than we previously knew – our research provides the missing piece of statistical evidence about just how important it is.

“With currently one in two Australians reporting to work in an inclusive team, it’s good to remember that this can be done and with the right benchmarks in place, we hope to see companies address this over the coming year.

“What this research has also made abundantly clear is the strong support for Australian employers to invest in inclusive workplaces, and the overwhelming business and employee benefits of doing so,” she said.

READ MORE ON THE INCLUSION@WORK INDEX

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