Australia ‘lagging behind other countries in workplace diversity’
Workplace diversity is only a priority in about one-third of Australian businesses, putting them behind other Asia Pacific employers, according to new research.
The LinkedIn survey – ‘The Future of Talent’ – canvassed more than 3500 workers in the region across seven industry sectors to examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
It revealed that diversity at work was a priority for 35 per cent of Australian companies, compared with 61 per cent for organisation in other Asia Pacific countries such as New Zealand, Singapore and Japan.
The research showed that the importance of workplace diversity had dropped by 16 per cent in Australia during the pandemic.
And it is having an impact on the recruitment of staff.
In Australia 83 per cent of companies are willing to draw on existing staff to fill vacant positions. The report found that although this encourages loyalty in the business, it can discourage workplace diversity.
Remote working – a major feature of employment trends during the COVID-19 pandemic – has had a major impact on the workplace, especially large employers.
“Organisations also foresee a permanent shift in the traditional workforce structure,” the report said.
“Companies have not only grown accustomed to remote working but have also started warming up to the idea of relying on a remote workforce well into the future – particularly large organisations.”
But the research also found barriers remain to staff being permanently based off-site.
Of the surveyed companies, 76 per cent want to retain a split between remote working and office based work. The vast majority also aim to retain a physical office space.
Adam Gregory, senior director, at LinkedIn, said that employers should look at expanding their talent pool.
“The pandemic has shown many companies that physical location doesn’t have to be a barrier to doing a job. Companies have the opportunity to tap into new and expanded talent pools which will help them to improve the diversity of their workforce and also bring new skills into the business.