Today Diversity Council Australia (DCA) is making a submission in the lead up to The Jobs and Skills Summit.
DCA has more than 1,100 members – these members employ approximately 20% of the Australian workforce. A respected and trusted research organisation, we also develop resources and hold events with and for our members.
The Jobs and Skills Summit is also a Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Diversity and inclusion is good for the economy, good for the community; good for employers and for workers.
The facts are stark. The labour market is tight, wages are constrained, inflation is going up and all the while we have 3.3 million potential employees who are unemployed or underemployed sitting on the sidelines in the lead up to the Summit.
Diversity and inclusion has as much a place in addressing worker shortages as it does in retaining happier, more effective workers – and great diversity and inclusion makes workplaces safer and minimises a variety of risks for employers.
We welcome the Government’s aspiration for the Summit and look forward to working with Australian organisations to make workplaces more accessible and inclusive and in doing so, creating opportunities for more Australians to get ahead and to reach their aspirations.
Our submission, drawing on our research, touches on key themes and priorities of the Summit including:
The importance of taking an intersectional approach – experiences of marginalisation can be, and often is, amplified by multiple and overlapping barriers and systemic inequalities.
Inclusion for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples at work – First Nations workers in Australia experience shocking levels of racism, cultural load and identity strain.
The Gender Pay Gap and women at work – Our She’s Price(d)less research outlines what drives the gender pay gap. The Summit can and should support interventions to minimise the gap.
Worker shortages and unemployed and under-employed people – Soon to be released research on Inclusive Recruitment we better understand those who are on the sidelines of the labour market and what employers can do to support them to join the workforce.
Effectiveness and productivity – Inclusion@Work Index shows that workers in inclusive teams are eleven times more likely to be highly effective. These workers are four times less likely to be on the way out the door.
Addressing Racism at Work – DCA’s Racism At Work revealed that workplace racism is having a significant impact on Australian employees’ wellbeing, and impacting Australian organisations. We look at what can be done to tackle this.
Workplace inclusion as a strategy to reduce discrimination – DCA’s Inclusion@Work Index 2021-22 shows that inclusive workplaces significantly decreases the risk of experiencing discrimination and/or harassment while at work.
A focus on diversity and inclusion can help us tackle the major systemic drivers of some of the issues in focus for the Summit, for the economy and for the country, should not be under-estimated, under-stated or undervalued.
The work of diversity and inclusion can deliver for all those heading to, and represented at the Summit and, just as importantly, for those on the sidelines.
Quotes attributable to Lisa Annese, CEO, Diversity Council Australia
“Diversity and Inclusion is not an optional extra but a superpower as we look at The Summit’s priorities. We need to tap into that for Australia to be the best we can be.
“The work of diversity and inclusion isn’t only the right thing to do, it is also the best thing for the community and for business.
“The Jobs and Skills Summit is also a Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Diversity and inclusion is good for the economy, good for the community; good for employers and for workers.
“Employers who practice inclusion have happier, more effective staff – and they retain their workers at a higher rate.
“Diversity and inclusion can deliver for all those heading to, and represented at the Summit and, just as importantly, for those on the sidelines.”
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About DCA: Diversity Council Australia is the independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We provide unique research, inspiring events and programs, curated resources and expert advice across all diversity dimensions to a community of one thousand member organisations. Our member organisations are estimated to employ nearly two million Australians, representing up to 20% of the workforce.