Women from diverse backgrounds underutilized

Added On September 10, 2017

A new report has found that most culturally diverse women are significantly under-utilized in the workplace.
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The report, called Cracking the Glass-Cultural Ceiling Future Proofing Your Business in the 21st Century has been put together by The Diversity Council Australia and the University of Sydney Business School.
They found that 90 percent of culturally diverse women they surveyed, believed their talents and leadership qualities were not being recognized.
SOUNDBITE: DIMITRIA GROUTSIS, University of Sydney Business School
Primarily they are considered to be risky appointments and this is, I suppose, a historical overhang of bias that needs to be disrupted and shaken up. What we found with these women is that they're ambitious, they're capable and they're resilient!
In total, over 360 women participated in an online survey and around 50 took part in think tanks and focus groups across Sydney and Melbourne.
Groutsis also was invited to speak with 230 culturally diverse women at firms including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Google, Aurecon and Deloitte.
SOUNDBITE: DIMITRIA GROUTSIS, University of Sydney Business School
Over 35 percent of our respondents, almost 40 percent identified that they identified with a bi or multicultural identity. Two out of three are multilingual and these are key markers of creativity and process and product innovation.
According to Groutsis, the ability to operate across different cultures and markets, should be a fantastic asset to organizations.
The report also conducted in depth interviews with 14 culturally diverse women in senior leadership roles from the public, private and not-for-profit sector.
SOUNDBITE: DIMITRIA GROUTSIS, University of Sydney Business School
What we found was that mentors, sponsors and networks within the organization and outside the organization, both formal and informal, were really key to accessing that senior leadership suite.
There are around 7,500 directors at firms listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, yet only 2.5 percent of them are women from culturally diverse backgrounds.
SOUNDBITE: DIMITRIA GROUTSIS, University of Sydney Business School
Our women were shown to be really, really ambitious.over almost 90 percent of the women we spoke with indicated that they see themselves in that senior leadership cadre in the next couple of years.So organizations can pick up their ears to do things in a better way!