ACKNOWLEDGING THAT MANY DISABILITIES ARE NOT VISIBLE, DID YOU KNOW THAT A QUARTER OF THE POPULATION HAVE A DISABILITY? NEITHER DID I (UNTIL RECENTLY), AND THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE KEEP THIS FRONT OF MIND WHEN LOOKING AT RETENTION AND RECRUITMENT IN 2019 AND BEYOND.
Was it front of mind for you in 2018? Did you celebrate International Day of People with Disability? If you are unfamiliar with this celebration, basically the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability, as well as celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability. It is held on 3rd December every year so don’t worry if you missed it last year, there’s always this year!
However, while many were celebrating the inclusiveness and equality of people with disabilities, around the same time, Diversity Council Australia released some shocking statistics.
Data from the DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index revealed that across many industries those with a disability are among the most discriminated against in Australian workplaces, second to First Nations People.
According to their findings, 34% of people with disability had personally experienced at least one incident of harassment and / or discrimination in the past 12 months, compared to 21% of people without a disability. This sad fact that people with a disability suffer from exclusionary behaviour at work, such as experiencing and witnessing harassment and / or discrimination also highlights the bigger picture and the main issue at hand, which is that people with disability do experience lower workplace participation and higher unemployment in Australia. This is really not acceptable, and this mindset needs to be changed as our workplace is clearly harming those with a disability.
The Inclusion@Work Index released statistics that proved that inclusion of people with disability is good for business and greatly improves team productivity as well as customer service, and hence overall customer satisfaction. It revealed that effectiveness is almost 30 times greater and customer service is six times higher when people with a disability work in inclusive teams compared to non-inclusive teams.
It is important for those in leadership positions to acknowledge and ensure workplaces are inclusive, it is also vital that all workers ensure people with disability feel included, valued and feel part of the team in every workplace.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please feel free to contact me for a confidential discussion.
Lydia Mc Williams
Project Resource Partners
Level 29, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
T +61 3 9949 8100 D +61 3 9949 8106