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What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

The term diversity in the workplace refers to specific groups of people with a range of different social and cultural backgrounds. Diversity can be related to race, culture, religion, age, gender, disability, and sexual orientation. The principle of equitable treatment implies fairness and impartiality referring to the same opportunity given to everyone in terms of rights, opportunities, and status. Inclusion is providing equal access to opportunities and resources for groups that may otherwise be marginalised.


A recent report by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency found that on average, men earned 13.8% more than women across all industries and occupations in Australia. It also showed older job seekers can take twice as long to find a job as younger job seekers.


Breaking the bias means committing to being an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace, focused on implementing frameworks that have tangible impacts. An inclusive workplace is one in which everyone feels welcome. Employees’ opinions are valued regardless of their background, and anyone can contribute to the business’s success. To remain competitive, employers have to ensure that their strategies address how employees feel respected and included within their company.


Survey results from the Australian HR Institute show that 84% of businesses in Australia are involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Around half of these companies have documented and developed diversity strategies. Yet less than half of these businesses have established where they would like to be in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion. Eliminating prejudice is critical but what does the end goal look and feel like?


How diverse are Australian workplaces?

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia has the oldest continuous culture in the world, accounting for more than 270 different ancestries. Australia, however, falls far behind the global benchmark when it comes to increasing opportunities for advancement, moving within business units and geographically, or even gaining equal access to people management roles.


According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the participation rate for people with disability was “52.8% compared to 82.5% for people without disability”. Though significant steps have already been taken to include marginalised groups in the workplace, additional efforts will need to be made to truly implement lasting change.


Benefits of incorporating DEI in your business

Through the diversificationof your workforce, you can achieve higher engagement, substantial innovations, and better decision-making. Forbes reports that inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, three times more likely to be high-performing. In addition, they are six times more likely to be innovative and agile and eight times more likely to achieve better business results.


Breaking The Bias with DEI in Your Business

Diversity, equity, and inclusion actually increases productivity and creates a harmonious work environment. You can commit to action by:


  1. Disrupting societal labelling that separates, as it can be destructive for individuals, businesses, and communities.
  2. Create a culture in which all employees are valued and whose voices are elevated.
  3. Reduce the gap between recognition and action. Build a culture of accountability and belonging in your business.
  4. Diverse cultures are imperative, and upskilling your business’ cultural competence allows women and employees to offer their unique perspectives, experiences, and suggestions without judgement or discrimination.


If you need assistance reviewing your diversity and inclusion strategies or to incorporate strategies to #BreakTheBias in your business, please contact us at Catalyst Central: