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Have your say in the Annual NZ Workplace Diversity Survey

24 Feb 2020

Diversity Works New Zealand is asking Kiwi organisations to have their say on the most pressing diversity issues in the workplace.  

The annual New Zealand Workplace Diversity Survey will help to shape research on diversity issues and ways to support a more inclusive New Zealand.

According to Diversity Works New Zealand interim chief executive, Adrienne Miller, the survey helps Diversity Works to inform the decisions it makes around training development and further opportunities to help workplaces.

“It also enables us to establish emerging trends in the workplace diversity and inclusion space,” she says.

The 2019 survey revealed that only 12% of workplaces considered religion as an important diversity issue, however with the Christchurch Mosque attacks Diversity Works is keen to understand if that has changed.

The survey also highlighted whether women were well represented in decision-making roles, what initiatives were in place for the aging workforce, actions that needed to be taken to remove bias from the recruitment process and career development for people with disabilities.

While 93% of respondents stated that they have female representation at the leadership and decision-making level, women make up less than a quarter of the leadership team in 40% of organisations.

The 2019 survey revealed that New Zealand organisations are least likely to have a policy to address ageing as a diversity issue. 

Massey University’s pro-vice-chancellor Paul Spoonley points out that in the next 10 years, the workforce aged 65 and over will almost double, and that 65 is no longer the age of retirement.

“Given this structural and numerical ageing, and ongoing challenges of skills scarcity, it is puzzling that so few firms have policies on ageing,” he commented.

While more than half (63%) of organisations understanding that bias has an impact on decision making – particularly in the areas of recruitment, promotion and remuneration, organisations need to consider strategies to minimise the impact of bias throughout all stages of the employee lifecycle.

New Zealand organisations are also less likely to consider disability in the workplace as an issue – less than one quarter considered disability in the workplace as an important issue. Private organisation are less likely to address this compared to the public sector.

Sixty-seven percent of organisations consider diversity in relevant HR policies, the 2019 survey reported.

Speaking further about the 2020 research, Miller says, “When this research is complete, we will share the findings so New Zealand organisations can see how the challenges they are facing compare with other similar-sized businesses.”

The 2020 survey closes at 5pm on Friday, 6 March 2020. Access the survey here.

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