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Research Findings: Prejudice within the workforce

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The roles of diversity competencies, motivation and climate

Intolerance within the workforce

People can acquire the skills necessary to make them better in dealing with issues of diversity. A key competency necessary is motivation, a person needs to believe that it’s important to be inclusive and welcoming of people from diverse backgrounds. Also vital is knowledge, having an understanding and an awareness about other cultures.

Another important aspect to creating a diverse friendly workforce is measuring the organisation’s diversity climate. This is a measurable perception that the organisation tries to foster diversity and eliminate discrimination.

Let’s further explore the concepts of diversity competencies and climate.

The roles of diversity competencies, motivation and climate

Watch the video to understand what the research says about how people can learn to be more inclusive at work, and what organisations can do to increase support for inclusion and diversity.

Watch the next video in this series here:

Part 4 – The Key Drivers of Prejudice

And watch the previous video here:

Part 2 – Research Findings: What Makes People Intolerant

And if you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Video Transcript

Hi, Andrew from SACS, and welcome to video number three in our six video series on inclusion.

Earlier in the sequence, told you with really important theory about what makes people prejudiced, and we proved this theory in video number two.

In this video, we’ll be talking about tolerance and intolerance in organisations, and then we’ll be wrapping up the research section of this video series talking about key drivers of tolerance and intolerance.

Diversity competencies

Firstly, I want to talk about some diversity competencies.

And the idea of diversity competencies is that people can acquire competencies to make them better in dealing with issues of diversity.

And so one of the diversity competencies is this concept of motivation.

In other words, does the person believe that it’s important to be inclusive and welcoming of people with diverse backgrounds? So a key diversity competency is this motivation characteristic.

Then there’s a characteristic of knowledge. Does this person know enough about other cultures to respond effectively? Not just cultures, of course, it relates to things like sexual preferences, should I say that? You might have seen the ABC TV show if you’re in Australia or New Zealand called “You Can’t Ask That.” And that’s all about questions which, in general, would be considered to be unacceptable, because, well, diversity, knowledge, that competency would tell you shouldn’t ask those things.

And then there’s a question of behaviour. Does the person modify their behaviours in order to relate to people from other cultures?

Now, that’s an interesting one.

Do I modify my behaviours in order to relate to people from other cultures or from other sexual preference, backgrounds, or whatever?

Now, you can understand why that could be a good thing because I’m accommodating, on the other hand, if it’s not done well, it could be a negative thing, right?

Where you were doing stuff, you were modifying your behaviour in such a way that you feel stilted.

Or for instance, when people are hard of hearing, people sometimes shout at them to, and thinking that they’re doing the right thing.

Whereas many people who have problems with hearing become very offended with that.

So, anyway, it’s, that’s, we’ll address that question in the research findings to see whether modifying behaviours is always a good thing.

Diversity motivation

So finding number seven is about diversity motivation (refer to video).

And we find that that varies by age.

Now, findings number one to six, by the way were in the immediately previous video, if you’re interested in finding out about that. But ultimately, this echoes one of the findings that we had in the previous video, which is that cultural competency of motivation is lower in older people than it is in younger people.

And I think that it’s exposure to diversity which causes that people who grew up in a more monocultural society are less likely to believe that it’s important to be welcoming of diversity.

And of course, the other thing is that recent education has educated people that it’s a good thing to do, so no doubt those two factors contribute to causing people who are younger to be more welcoming.

Diversity climate

Diversity climate, now, diversity climate is all about a measurable perception that the organisation tries hard to foster diversity and eliminate discrimination.

So an organisation that has a good diversity climate is one where the employees believe that the organisation cares about diversity, and it wants them to care about diversity.

Now there’s also good, strong research evidence that organisations that have high diversity climate tend to perform better.

So morally, it’s a good thing to do, but it also can contribute to your commercial outcomes. So let’s look at diversity climate in terms of different industry groups.

And what we find is that the lowest is wholesale trade and manufacturing. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing tend to be quite low in terms of inclusiveness from a diversity climate point of view.

But the highest, interestingly, is mining.

Now, education, health and community services probably don’t surprise you too much. Interestingly, electricity, gas, and water services, utilities, in effect, also tend to be high.

Property and business services tend to be high.

Actually, the electricity, gas, and waste services tend to be kind of sophisticated organisations these days, so that’s probably not surprising, but mining’s an interesting one, isn’t it?

I guess if you ask people about the most inclusive industries in the world, not many people would pick out mining.

But in fact, when I’ve spoken to people from the mining sector, they explained to me as follows.

Mining is incredibly multinational for a start. So if you are a member of the mining community, let’s say you’re a mining engineer or something like that, quite often, people from Guatemala come to Australia, and people from Australia go and work in Chile, and people who work from Chile go and work in Papua New Guinea, let’s say.

So it tends to be quite multicultural in that sense. And this individual’s theory or the couple of people that I spoke to in the mining sector say that’s one of the drivers of it.

Inclusion varies between industry sectors

But we do see that there are differences there in different industry sectors about the levels of inclusion that they have.

So there are some further research findings about tolerance and intolerance within organisations, the fact that there’s a thing called diversity climate and there are also diversity competencies.

The next video is a very short one which focuses on key drivers of tolerance and intolerance, and, in effect, it wraps up what we saw in videos number two and three.

And it gives you some overall findings about the kinds of things that are likely to cause a person to be tolerant and intolerant.

And then in videos number five and six, we’re going to focus on the issue of how to create a more tolerant and inclusive workforce through leadership, and also, some really practical interventions that you might undertake.

So join us to find out more about what causes people to be intolerant in video number four.

Watch the next video in this series to find out more about creating a diversity friendly workforce:

Part 4 – The Key Drivers of Prejudice

And watch the previous video here:

Part 2 – Research Findings: What Makes People Intolerant

And if you’d like some help to ensure your next hire is tolerant, contact us about our Psychometric Assessments.

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