More than six years ago the Australian Human Rights Commission launched the “Racism. It Stops with Me” campaign under then Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane. Since then more than 400 organisations have pledged their commitment to anti-racism.
With benefits ranging from increased productivity and innovation to higher engagement and retention rates, a diverse workforce can have far-reaching positive impacts for organisations.
Transitioning genders isn’t easy. But navigating the process in the workplace can feel even harder.
When it comes to shaping the future of the not-for-profit sector, young people are in a unique position.
Millennials – which covers everyone aged from about 17 to 37 – are empowered by new and emerging technologies, and are driven by a strong sense of social justice.
And that’s a good thing, since they’re the ones who will eventually be running the NFP sector – alongside the rest of our society’s institutions.
So how does your organisation do at recruiting, training and retaining young people as staff and volunteers?
Most people would not consciously decide to hire candidates based on whether they remind them of themselves. But one unconscious bias – affinity bias – may lead people to favour candidates who are like themselves, research shows.
If senior managers and NFP boards are made up of mostly men who unconsciously engage in such bias, it stands to reason that more men than women will continue to be hired and promoted – particularly men who share the same background with current managers. This only serves to perpetuate the cycle of men outnumbering women in leadership positions.
So what can be done?
Australia’s record on women in leadership isn’t a shining one. Despite comprising around 46 percent of the Australian workforce, women make up only a quarter of key management staff.
But what about the NFP sector? Surely for organisations dedicated to a more just and equitable world, the statistics would look a lot better?
Australian workplaces are facing the most significant demographic shift in modern human history. In 1990, just 15.9 percent of the Australian population was aged over 55. Today, that figure sits at one in four – which looks set to increase even further to around one in three within the next decade. But are we ready?
Why is it so hard to get diversity right? Many organisations attempt to identify, educate and implement policies and activities to improve diversity in their workforce. Despite this, we are yet to see impactful and sustainable change.
“Higher absenteeism, lower productivity, higher staff turnover… as well as reputational damage”. They’re just a few of the issues arising from an alarming amount of workplace discrimination uncovered by the Australian Human Rights Commission related to pregnancy, parental leave or returning to work from leave. Fortunately, there’s a fantastic new website to address these very issues.
Employing people with disability doesn’t need to be expensive or hard – and it could prove to be one of the best decisions your organisation ever makes.
In this guest post, CEO of not-for-profit job agency Ostara Australia, Tom Baxter, provides practical advice for you to welcome employees with disability into your organisation.