Older workers most discriminated employee category. Younger workers most attuned to workplace equality.
Less than half of people are aware of diversity blueprints in their workplace, according to research by global media, data and insights company Pureprofile.
Based on a nationally representative sample of 605 adults aged 18 and over and active in the workplace, only 43 percent of these respondents said their workplace has policies or support around diversity or minority groups at work, 24 percent said they don’t, while 34 per cent said they’re not sure.
On a positive note, the survey showed people are concerned about equality in the workplace. This trend corresponds to data from the Australian Human Rights Commission's 2016-2017 annual report. In the 2016-2017 financial year, the commission’s National Information Service answered 14,911 enquiries from people seeking information about discrimination and human rights, while its Investigation and Conciliation Service received 1,939 complaints about discrimination and breaches of human rights.
From the survey sample, the top group people believed are being discriminated against is older workers, aged 50+ (54 per cent). Also on the discrimination radar are differently-abled employees, with 46 per cent of respondents saying they think people with a disability are not treated equally or fairly in today’s workplace. The glass ceiling is still a concern, with 44 percent of people believing “women in general” are not treated equally or fairly in the workplace.
There is a gender distinction in attitudes towards discrimination in the workplace, with 12 percent of men saying men aren’t treated fairly compared to 4 percent of women, while 45 percent of women said working mothers aren’t treated fairly compared to 29 percent of men.
Age also highlighted a clear difference of opinion, with the youngest respondents (aged 18-24) voting highest for perceived discrimination against every category… except ‘older workers’. This reflects sentiment that millennials see diversity and inclusion differently than past generations and make this more of a factor when deciding where they want to work.
Across the board, the top ten groups people nominated as the most discriminated against were:
1. Older workers, aged 50+ (54%)
2. People with a disability (46%)
3. Women in general (44%)
4. People of different cultural backgrounds (38%)
5. Australian indigenous people (37%)
6. Working mothers (37%)
7. People of colour (31%)
8. LGBTI people (30%)
9. People of different religious backgrounds (22%)
10. Younger workers,aged under 30 (14%)