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Over 80% of people living with a disability say recruitment bias exists

03 Dec 2019

Around two-thirds of employees living with a disclosed disability say their organisation’s leaders do not fully understand the business benefits of diversity and inclusion, while more than eight in ten feel their chance of being accepted for a job has been lowered in the past because of their disability.

That’s according to a survey of 1,033 people by recruiting company Hays, who raises this issue in conjunction with the International Day of People with Disability (IDOPwD) today.

Hays’s survey results can be grouped into three key findings:

1. There is a belief that recruitment bias exists:

• 83% said there had been an occasion where they felt that their chance of being accepted for a job was lowered because of their disability

• 66% of people living with a disclosed disability believe their leaders have a bias towards those who look, think or act like them.

2. Business benefits of diversity and inclusion aren’t understood:

• Just 37% of people living with a disclosed disability said their organisation’s leaders understand the link between diversity and inclusion and talent attraction

• 41% said leaders understand the link to customer insight

• 32% said leaders understand the link to creativity and innovation

• 22% said leaders understand the link to profitability

• 34% said leaders understand the link to employee engagement and staff retention

3. A trust deficit exists:

• 34% of people living with a disclosed disability trust their leaders to deliver change on the diversity and inclusion agenda;

• 32% believe that their line manager is committed to increasing diversity within their team;

• Less than one quarter (24%) said their leaders are role models for diversity and inclusion who challenge traditional viewpoints and established ways of working.

“Through this survey, we sought to share a snapshot of the lived experience of people living with disabilities in the world of work in Australia & New Zealand,” says Hays New Zealand managing director Adam Shapley.

“The human case for building fairer and more inclusive workplaces is certain; regardless of background, everyone deserves to work in a safe, supportive and respectful environment.

“There is also a vital business case for diversity and inclusion which at its heart drives increased access to and active participation in the world of work from all parts of society,” he says.