The Australian cut of Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, Rewriting the rules for the digital age, reveals that Australia is one of the leading countries in the world in making diversity an organisational priority.

The report highlights the strength of organisational support for addressing the issue in Australia: more than three in four business and HR leaders (77%) said D&I was an important or very important issue, ranking it as fourth in Australia’s top ten human capital trends.

This is much higher than the global average, which ranks diversity as ninth.

These results show that Australian companies can really move the agenda when they put their minds to it: look how Australian companies have more than tripled the number of women on boards in just six years. (AICD figures show[1] that 25.3% of board members ASX 200 boards are women (31 December 2016), compared to 8.3% in 2009.)

Relatively small, economically stable and innovative countries like Australia have the ability to be more agile in responding to trends such as harnessing the value of diversity in the workforce.

Now Australian companies need to broaden out from gender diversity and also build supportive organisational frameworks.

Too often diversity is relegated to a women’s mentoring program, and that is just not going to cut it.

Focus and agility bodes well for Australia being able to harness the right skills for the jobs of the future. The report shows that in the increasingly digital age, the human aspects of work such as empathy, communication and problem solving are more valued skills in the workforce than ever before.

Australian companies appear to be well placed to be able to focus on recruiting these skills.

The report also reveals that overall 85% of Australian HR professionals say fostering a better employee experience is their most important priority, closely followed by building the organisation of the future (84%).

However, the data shows that Australian companies make talent acquisition less of a priority than many other countries (70% compared to the global average of 81%).

The global Deloitte 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report surveyed over 10,000 businesses around the world on their HR practices, including 197 respondents in Australia.

About the 2017 Human Capital Trends Survey

The 2017 survey is Deloitte’s largest and most extensive to date, with input from more than 10,400 businesses and HR leaders around the country, including some 197 in Australia. 22% of respondents were from large companies (more than 10,000 employees), 29% from medium sized companies (1,000-10,000), and 49% from small companies (fewer than 1,000).  Asia Pacific respondents accounted for 18% of respondents. Respondents were from a broad cross section of industries. 63% of respondents were HR professionals, with other business executives accounting for 37%.

 

[1] http://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/advocacy/board-diversity/statistics