We are uncomfortable in Australia when the subject of class emerges. In Australia there is a myth that we are the land of the ‘fair go’. This belief has been shown to be false, after a study titled ‘DCA Suncorp’s Inclusion @ Work Index‘ has shown that class, more than any other diverse demographic, is strongly linked to workers’ experience of inclusion or exclusion at work.
The study concluded that self-identified lower-class workers were more suspicious than middle or upper-class workers that they would be treated fairly at work, that inclusion at work was much more challenging for a lower-class employee.
Exclusion means being ignored at work, and not receiving the same promotional opportunities or privileges, again more likely according to the study, to affect lower-class employees.
The study highlighted the positive experience on lower-class workers of organisations which fostered workplace inclusion. Measuring class can be difficult but it is an important study as we can begin to understand how class impacts our experiences of work and why.
Organisational initiatives can have positive impacts on people from all classes. COVID-19 has arguably created wider socio-economic divisions, and this then is a clarion call to build more inclusive organisations across the Australian economy. That will allow everyone the opportunity to feel they are part of an inclusive society.
Ref: Lisa Annese. CEO of Diversity Council (a community of 600 member organisations).
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