‘Diversifying diversity’ exposes key D&I challenges facing Kiwi workers

New research has sought to ‘diversify diversity’ to expose the key diversity and inclusion considerations impacting the careers of underrepresented demographic groups in New Zealand and Australia.

The survey of over 1,000 people by recruiting experts Hays for its FY 2018-19 Diversity & Inclusion Report shows a shortage of diverse role models, organisational cultures that do not always support diversity and inclusion, perceptions of unfair barriers to career progression and mental health issues.

“Our findings reveal some encouraging signs of progress, but the overall picture tells us we need to accelerate the pace of change to achieve genuine workplace diversity and inclusion,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

On the positive side, 42 per cent of respondents said their line manager is female, up from 39 per cent in 2017. Yet few respondents have a line manager who is of BAME heritage (6 per cent), identifies as LGBTIQ+ (2 per cent), is Maori (1 per cent) or lives with a disclosed disability (1 per cent).

This is significant when 50 per cent of survey respondents said their organisation’s leaders have a bias towards people who look, think or act like them.

Meanwhile, only 46 per cent of survey respondents overall trust their organisations’ leaders (senior manager level and above) to deliver change on the diversity and inclusion agenda. Therefore there is a trust-deficit between employees and their organisations’ leaders.

Just two in five (38 per cent) survey respondents said their employer takes every opportunity to create a workplace culture that is more diverse and inclusive.

Furthermore, while an inclusive culture is supported through diversity training for people managers, only 34 per cent of respondents said people managers are given training to help them ensure diversity and inclusion support. Diversity training is lowest in two particular demographic areas: mature-age (32 per cent) and people of BAME heritage (31 per cent).

Talent management
Another illuminating finding was that 83 per cent of respondents living with a disclosed disability, 77 per cent of women, 67 per cent of those who identify LGBTIQ+ and 64 per cent of mature-age people say their chances for career progression have been limited because of their disability, gender, sexual orientation or age.

Less than one-quarter (24 per cent) feel their organisation actively works to develop under-represented groups into leadership roles.

Meanwhile, when we consider career management and people’s ability to maintain their professional and personal responsibilities, access to flexible working is an important factor. Yet it was telling that only one half (52 per cent) of survey respondents said their organisation actively promotes flexible and agile working as the default working practise and supports it overtly.

Employee wellbeing
Almost four in five (78 per cent) said they were aware of mental health considerations in their current or previous workplace. Several demographic groups were more likely to have observed such issues: 81 per cent of women (compared to 74 per cent of men), and 92 per cent of both people living with a disclosed disability and those who identify as LGBTIQ+.

Request your free copy of the FY 2018-19 Hays Diversity & Inclusion Report at 

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Kathryn Crowden, Senior PR & Content Manager, on +61 (0)2 8226 9820 or, or Clare Zacka, Marketing Director, on +61 (0)2 8062 6133 or

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2018 the Group employed 10,978 staff operating from 257 offices in 33 markets across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2018:

– the Group reported net fees of £1.072 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £243.4 million;

– the Group placed around 77,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 244,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 19% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 24% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 31% in Rest of World (RoW);

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.