The Human Rights Commission’s latest report, Missing Out: The business case for customer diversity raises two questions: can organisations afford to ignore the diversity of their customer base? And, what impact will this have over time? The research shows that organisations that are inclusive and embrace diversity enjoy repeat business and strong recommendations to others.
According to the report, around 28% of complaints received by the Commission in 2015-16 alleged discrimination by businesses based on sex, age, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. The report does more than cite customer complaints, it provides a way forward for organisations that want to improve their approach beyond the legal compliance of discrimination laws. Organisations that have embraced diversity in their workforce are generally in a better position to consider diversity in their customer base. So it seems workforce diversity might be a good first step. You can download the report in PDF or Word from Human Rights Commission webpage.
There is a related article on the BBC News website about disability being an emerging market not a niche market.
Editor’s note: I notice that the Commission’s report uses the term “organisations” rather than “businesses”. No doubt the public service and not for profit sectors are not immune from complaints.