The Human Rights Commission’s 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 find that embracing diversity is good business.
According to the report, around 28% of complaints received by the Commission in 2015-16 alleged discrimination by businesses. These allegations were 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 do more than comply with the law.
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.
“Missing out highlights the benefits of treating customer diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority. Further, it articulates a way forward for those organisations seeking to take advantage of a proactive approach beyond ensuring compliance with discrimination laws.”
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.