There’s often a gap between what HR does and what other parts of the organisation do
The Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) has recently disclosed its Inclusive Employers list for 2023-24, acknowledging 82 organizations for their unwavering dedication to diversity and inclusion. Among those recognized were Our Watch, ANZ, City of Sydney, and Perth Airport.
In order to secure a spot on the list, participating organizations had to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion by having their employees undergo a survey assessing the state of inclusion within the workplace. The results needed to surpass national benchmarks in at least five of the following six categories: engagement, awareness, inclusive organisational climate, inclusive leadership, inclusive team, and exclusion.
DCA CEO Lisa Annese emphasised the significant benefits of inclusion for both employers and employees, underscoring the Inclusive Employers Index as a rigorous process providing insights into the state of inclusion and diversity across participating organisations. Annese stated, “It’s an opportunity for workplaces to show their commitment to inclusion, reflect on their achievements, and identify ways to do even better.”
Employees should feel a sense of belonging and be able to contribute to the organisation or team productively
The question arises: what elements contribute to an inclusive workplace, and what advantages does it bring to employers and employees alike?
Alison Pullen, Professor of Gender, Work, and Organisation at Macquarie Business School, defines an inclusive organisation as one where individuals from all backgrounds desire to work without facing discrimination, be it overt or covert. The key is that employees should feel a sense of belonging and be able to contribute to the organisation or team productively, fostering a livable work-life.
DCA asserts that workplace inclusion leads to improved performance, well-being, and innovation. It highlights that employees in inclusive teams are three times less likely to leave their organisation and nearly 10 times more likely to be innovative.
Pullen adds that inclusive workplaces benefit employers by enhancing the effectiveness and productivity of workers. Organisations with inclusive cultures that foster respect often achieve success, gain a competitive edge in the market, and outperform their competitors.
Moreover, the advantages of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) extend to employees as well, particularly in terms of well-being. Pullen notes that employees can experience heightened job and workplace satisfaction, happiness with their job or working conditions, and an overall sense of well-being at work.