Diversity makes good business sense

Summary of topics

  • Do Australian workers support diversity and inclusion?
  • Why are diversity and inclusion important for organisations?
  • Why employ people with disability?

Please note: This data has now been updated and, as of March 2021, the ABS estimates that 1 in 5 Australians is living with disability.

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75% of Australian workers support or strongly support diversity and inclusion in their own workplace. With one in four people in Australia living with some form of disability, building a diverse and inclusive workplace also represents a significant opportunity for business. Inclusive workplaces are more likely to be highly effective, to innovate, and to give excellent customer service. Research shows most workers with disability are highly productive, less likely to be absent, and with fewer work accidents. Employees with disability are more likely to be job satisfied and stay longer with their employer. Research shows the cost of employing people with disability is as much as 13% lower than other employees. Contrary to the perception that people with disability need additional time off, 86% of workers with disability have either an average or superior attendance record. An inclusive workforce also helps to attract and retain new customers, and to gain better understanding of what your customers with disability may need. This may provide your business with a competitive edge. Building a diverse and inclusive workplace makes good business sense for lots of reasons. But don't take my word for it.

The 15% of the world's population have some form of disability, and we believe that we've got to build our products in a way that allow people to use the technology in the way that they can best use it, as opposed to design for the 85% of the world that has no disability. The diversity has been the best thing. So having that diverse set of experiences, the diverse way in which people work, has been so empowering to make us a better organisation and a better team. I'd strongly recommend that people look to individuals that can bring their diverse abilities and diverse perspective into the organisation.

How does diversity impact an organisation or focus on diversity? Well, it becomes a tremendous source of innovation, and it becomes a tremendous source of fresh ideas. Otherwise, the risk that organisations run is that if the organisations don't have a diverse workforce, there could actually be a feedback loop that gets created in the organisations, so they just don't get fresh ideas. If you actually understand, through empathy, how someone in a specific situation is getting around the constraints presented to them in that situation, that can actually lead to true innovation.

Diversity and inclusion at work matters – and hiring people with disability is a big part of that. Find out why you should employ people with disability and the benefits it can have.

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