Only 37 per cent of people living with a disclosed disability believe their leaders fully understood the relationship between diversity and inclusion.

The findings come from the 2018 Hays Diversity & Inclusion Report which surveyed more than 1000 working professionals in Australia and New Zealand.

The report findings reveal some encouraging signs of diversity progress, but the overall picture shows the need to accelerate the pace of change to achieve genuine workplace diversity and inclusion.

Of the demographic groups surveyed respondents living with a disclosed disability were the least likely to believe that their organisation’s leaders fully understand the business benefits of diversity and inclusion.

The survey also found just 34 per cent of people living with a disclosed disability trust their leaders to deliver change on the diversity and inclusion agenda, which was the lowest of all demographic groups surveyed while 66 per cent believe their leaders have a bias towards those who look, think or act like them. This was the highest of the demographic groups surveyed and well above the overall average of 50 per cent.

Further, 83 per cent said there had been an occasion where they felt that their chance of being accepted for a job was lowered because of their disability and just 24 per cent said their leaders are role models for diversity and inclusion who challenge traditional viewpoints and established ways of working. This can be crucial as established ways of working may need to be modified to accommodate their disability. And less than 44 per cent of those with a disclosed disability have regular monthly or quarterly two-way conversations with their manager about their performance and career progressions.

According to Hays, there are several ways to move the dial forward on diversity and inclusion and address the challenges and opportunities these present:

  • Use data to make the case
  • Be self-aware
  • Understand employee sentiment towards their leadership style
  • Publicly support diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Identify training needs

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