Where does Oz stand on diversity and inclusion?

by John Hilton25 Sep 2017
Think Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms implementing D&I initiatives? Think again.

New research suggests that leadership teams in Australia and New Zealand are ahead of the curve when it comes to D&I, according to Aimee Williamson, executive director at Russell Reynolds Associates.

“In Australia and New Zealand, CEOs are taking a much more active role in setting their organisation’s strategy than the rest of the globe,” Williamson told HRD.

Williamson cited the finding that Australia and New Zealand organisations saw that 61% of executives report their CEO sets the D&I strategy in ANZ, versus just 49% globally.

“What we know about D&I is that the standard is set from the top and the CEO’s active engagement is much more likely to deliver outcomes,” said Williamson.

The results came from Russell Reynolds Associates recent D&I Report which surveyed more than 2,000 senior executives globally.

The results also found that Aus/NZ companies are almost twice as likely to set diversity goals when it comes to appointing senior leadership (56% ANZ v just 38% globally).

Moreover, Aus/NZ companies place a higher priority on retaining diverse talent than the rest of the globe (60% of ANZ v just 47% globally).

Anthony Armstrong, country manager – Australia, at Russell Reynolds Associates, added that there is still considerable work to done at both board and especially executive level.

“I think we have made good progress in Australia on boards but there is still work to be done,” he told HRD.

Armstrong said it’s important to note that in terms of talking about diversity, it is not just about male/female.

“Increasingly, companies are talking about race, ethnicity, LGBTI, etc, and I think that is extremely healthy,” he said.

“I think that programs such as Male Champions of Change at both board level and executive level have been really impressive in terms of highlighting the importance of diversity.”

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