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DEI the focus of HR news this week

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
DEI the focus of HR news this week

This week in HR news: diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), with many noting a lack of it in the current work climate.

Utilising neurodiversity

The push for a more neurodiverse workforce has been making the news rounds this week.


Kath Greenhough reported recently on HR Leader that a Skillsoft survey confirmed that 88 per cent of respondents said that their organisation has a DEI policy in place. But less than half believed it includes people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Understanding and creating opportunities for neurodiverse workers is a step towards positive DEI that could benefit a workforce. Neurodiversity encompasses those on the autism spectrum, people with ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette's syndrome, and others.

As previously reported on HR Leader, auticon is one company that has taken an innovative approach in this area by hiring a majority of autistic employees. 70 per cent of their workforce is autistic.

Bodo Mann, CEO of auticon Australia said: “In the tightest employment market ever seen in Australia, we provide clients with an often-overlooked source of talent and prepare their organisations to become a destination for neurodiverse talent.”

Companies lack minority leadership

Back in 2018, the Australian Human Rights Commission released Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Revisited. The report noted that in Australia, 97 per cent of chief executives are of Anglo-Celtic and European backgrounds.

This issue was raised again this week in the UK, with their Financial Reporting Council releasing an ethnic diversity leadership report. The research noted that while the Black Lives Matter movement has had a positive effect on diversity in senior levels of workplaces, plenty of companies still fall behind.

Few companies were reported to have a race action plan, with very little to show in regards to their policies for hiring minorities.

Racial discrimination is still prevalent in the Australian workforce, as according to Diversity Council Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders feel excluded more than any other group.

The HR Leader recently spoke with Leroy Wilkinson-Maher who discussed how businesses can better accommodate Indigenous Australians.

Men make up top roles

Back in June, the United Nations released The Levers of Change Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2022. The report detailed the inequality that women face in the workforce. This issue has popped up again in this week’s news.

According to the report, three quarters of executives at Britain’s top 350 companies are men. Of these companies, 70 per cent did not have a single woman on their main board of directors.

The report surveyed around 20,000 people from 20 countries.

40 per cent of respondents agreed that it is natural for men to earn more than women, and 23 per cent believed men deserve to be paid more for the same job. There was also 31 per cent who believe men should be considered the priority for hiring when jobs are scarce. This issue is seen all the way up to politics, with women making up just 21 per cent of government ministers.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, in Australia women make up 47.9 per cent of workers, yet hold just 17.6 per cent of chair positions and 31.2 per cent of directorships. 19.4 per cent are CEOs and 34.5 per cent hold key management positions. 22.3 per cent of boards and governing bodies have no female directors.

There is a clear divide in DEI across not just Australia, but the world. Positive steps are being taken but there is a long way to go. To help you better understand how you can connect with a diverse workforce, click here.


Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.