Embracing Diversity In The Workplace

Whether you are seeking employment or you are an employer looking for staff, it is important to understand the value of embracing diversity in the workplace. In fact, diversity in the workplace can provide a number of benefits, not just to the employee and employer but also to the business and other staff members. There are a number of benefits to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Research has shown that staff are more engaged and productive in a diverse and inclusive workplace.

If you are an employer, you should consider how you can make your workplace more inclusive by enabling people with different abilities to contribute to their workplace. You need to provide equal opportunity in terms of recruitment, support, training and promotion to people of all abilities and disabilities in order to create an inclusive workplace. In addition, you need the skills to ask staff what support they need if they have a disability. Often the changes required can benefit many, not just those with a disability and can be something as simple as adjusting lighting in the office. Usually, if more significant changes are needed, there is government funding to assist.

If you or someone you know are challenged by a disability, rest assured you are not alone. In Australia, it is estimated that as many as one in five people experience disability at some stage in their life. This works out to be as many as 4 million people in Australia, of which more than half are of working age! According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘if you have a disability you are 30 per cent less likely to have a job than someone who doesnʼt and twice as likely to be in the bottom 20 per cent of household incomesʼ. The most common type of disability seen in Australia is chronic health conditions such as arthritis, asthma and cancer.

If you have a disability, it is important that you recognise that you are a valued employee. In fact, past research has shown that workers with disabilities are highly valuable members of a work team and offer a number of advantages in the workplace. Workers with disabilities have:

  • higher retention rates
  • lower absenteeism
  • high productivity
  • are no more likely to have a workplace injury than someone any other person.

If you are currently employed and are uncertain as to whether your workplace is inclusive, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your workplace ask people with a disability what assistance, support and services they need to perform their tasks?
  • Does every person in your workplace get equal opportunity in career development?
  • Is your workplace premise accessible?

My Pathway is one of many Disability Employment Service providers available in Cairns and the rest of Australia. From 1 July 2018, people with disabilities have been able to choose an employment service they trust and feel comfortable with and if theyʼre not happy with the services theyʼre receiving they can switch to another provider. At My Pathway, we listen to you and help you find a personalised solution to your needs. Employers today can see the benefit in diversifying their work environment. We can assist them with this as well as providing support to you throughout your employment. There can be barriers and challenges in seeking employment and we are committed and dedicated to supporting and encouraging you through the process.

Contact our friendly team at My Pathway to find out more about the services and support that we can provide.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners past and present on whose land we walk, work and live. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.