Different types of diversity in the modern workplace

In today’s day and age, many organisations are well acquainted with the benefits that fostering a diverse workforce can provide. Some of these include:

  • An increased level of innovation – Research from Josh Bersin finds that companies that have inclusion built into their business are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders.
  • Higher financial returns – Research has shown that companies run by a diverse team have 19% higher revenue than companies with lower diversity scores.
  • Faster and better decision making – According to a report from Deloitte, diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision making.

But what is diversity in the workplace? There are practically infinite ways that individuals are unique to one another, and ways they can bring a valuable perspective to an organisation.

We’ve previously looked at the benefits a diverse contractor workforce can provide a company. We’ve also looked at how to build diversity and inclusion into your program. In this article, however, we’ll be focusing on a number of diverse perspectives, and how they can each bring something unique to your business.

Gender diversity

Many organisations attempt to have some level of gender parity within their organisation; usually meaning they employ 50% of people that identify as male and 50% of people that identify as female.

While this certainly contributes towards building a diverse and inclusive workplace, it often doesn’t address root causes around why women are often underrepresented in the workplace or why they may feel their needs aren’t being addressed.

Consider for a moment that today, across all types of work and industries, men get paid 13.4% more than women. When you look at total remuneration for full time workers (including bonuses, superannuation or overtime), this number is a whopping 20.1%. Globally, women still only make up 21% of executive-level managers.

Rather than simply playing the numbers game, organisations should look towards building equality, and removing the barriers that prevent any worker from achieving their best.

Additionally, if organisations are building diverse environments for workers, they should also consider that gender is on a spectrum, and some workers may not fit into the male/female binary. It’s important to use inclusive language, preferred pronouns and ensure policies meet the needs of all employees.

Cultural diversity

Organisations need to consider their employee’s lived cultural experiences when building diverse teams.

Be careful not to equate cultural diversity with racial diversity – although both are important in a workplace. For example, people of Asian descent in a workplace are unlikely to all share the same culture. Instead of biological characteristics, ethnic identity concerns a person’s background, upbringing and perception of self.

What can organisations do to promote and include people of all ethnicities and cultures? Here’s some examples:

  • Removing bias from hiring practices and performance-based promotions
  • Adopting policies and procedures to create and equitable work environment
  • Celebrating diversity in the workplace through lunches or special holidays
  • Educating staff on non-discriminatory language and behaviour.

By embracing the cultural differences that make us unique in a workplace, we can break down the barriers that lead to miscommunication and confusion.

Disability diversity

From physical to mental, there is an enormous variety in what it means to be disabled. In fact, about 15% of people in the world live with a disability, meaning this is an essential area for companies to pay attention to.

We’ve mentioned ways of building inclusive environments, and the same goes for disabilities. Organisations can adjust their processes and workplaces to make work more accessible, such as wheelchair ramps or programs to assist with vision impairment.

Disabilities can affect movement, vision and hearing, but also involve mental health, learning and communication. In many cases, negative associations with disabilities means that organisations are missing out on the benefits that alternative ways of thinking can bring to the table. For instance, companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce are implementing programs to engage neurodiverse talent, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

How CXC supports diversity in the workplace with our clients

CXC is an equal opportunity employer committed to a workplace free from discrimination with equal opportunities for all employees. We aim to ensure that in the creation and application of all company policies, practices and procedures, no discrimination takes place and that all CXC employees enjoy equal access to opportunities within the organisation.

As a company that works closely with our client’s contractors, we also take an active role in supporting the diversity initiatives of our partners. For example:

  • Gender balance – Upon commencement of the project, we will undertake a detailed analysis of our client’s workforce. This analysis will provide them with often previously unseen visibility of their diversity positioning, a process which covers all job families, levels of seniority and categories of diversity. Using a combination of industry benchmarks and our many years of expertise, we are able to provide a comparison of our client’s workforce to accepted industry standards. This is a process which brings to light any gaps or diversity shortcomings including gender. We also provide an annual salary benchmark report, analysing the payrates of male and female contractors in our clients.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement – CXC supports our clients with their indigenous recruitment goals. For example, we have worked with Medibank to support their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) objectives. We reviewed current recruitment process, supply chain and reporting, including marketplace mapping to identify specialist suppliers, completion of supplier RFI to gauge capability in niche areas, establishing a specialist panel for sourcing, changes in distribution matrix and SLAs, and review of information capture and implementation of reporting.
  • Disability sourcing – CXC supports organisations with attracting people with disability for job opportunities. We continually progress our offering of support to candidates with disabilities so they can access and participate equitably throughout the recruitment process. One of our niche partners – DFP Recruitment – works with the Australian Network on Disability (AND) to boost understanding of disability recruitment through the Disability Confident Recruiter (DCR) program.

If you’d like to discuss how you can build diversity into your contractor program, don’t hesitate to reach me here.