Graeme Innes – AHRI Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2015

Great presentation on flipping the perception on Able versus Disabled 

Wrong or right …. We still have to make the decisions about how the world functions as the work age ratio changes and we have less working people to support the non working, unemployable or disabled portions of our population.  

As we ponder productivity and the government processes that prohibit the employment of many areas of our population, we find the wall of discrimination still exists in many if not most areas. 

A Long Way to Go – Peter Wilson AHRI Chairman

Peter Wilson opened the conference referencing that AHRI still has a long way to go to understand the process of moving forward.  

“Humour being a powerful weapon to focus on Diversity and Inclusion over all” Peter stated.


AHRI Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2015

The new National DI Survey.  Complete it now. 

The results of the nation’s first survey of age discrimination

The results of the nation’s first survey of age discrimination at work will be released today and streamed live, revealing the extent of the discrimination faced by older Australians.


Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey will officially launch National Prevalence Survey of age discrimination in the workplace this morning, with Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan.

“The results show that over a quarter of Australians aged 50 years and over report that they had experienced some form of age discrimination in the last two years, and 80 per cent of those spoke of negative impacts,” said Commissioner Ryan.

“I am particularly concerned that a third of people who had experienced age discrimination gave up looking for work as a result. Almost half began to think about retirement or accessing their superannuation fund.

“The high prevalence of age discrimination in the workplace has obvious and lasting impacts on the health and personal financial security of those trying to get or keep jobs,” said Ms Ryan.

The report also shows how age discrimination impacts on men and women differently.

The National Prevalence Survey of age discrimination in the workplace report will be launched at Insurance Australia Group (IAG).

“It is in everyone’s interest to have a workforce that is adaptive of our ageing population,” said IAG Chairman, Brian Schwartz.

“We support the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission in addressing age discrimination and highlighting the benefits of providing for, and retaining, an ageing workforce,” he said.


Former BP boss John Browne calls on companies to disclose number of LGBT staff they employ

Former chief executive of BP and author of The Glass Closet, John Browne, has called on companies to disclose how many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people they employ, as he outlined why businesses must double their efforts to create more inclusive organisations.

Speaking with WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell at an Ogilvy-hosted event last night (20 April) Browne drew parallels between the progress the corporate sector has made in driving LGBT diversity and the ongoing gender inbalance.

According to the latest Female FTSE Board Report from Cranfield School of Management, the percentage of women on boards in the UK’s 100 top companies has increased to 20 per cent.

“That’s after 40 years,” he said. “We’ve come a long way but it shows how much effort is needed to change attitudes.”

When it comes to the number of openly lesbian, gay or bisexual business leaders “we’re probably at year 10 in terms of progress,” he said.

However, the “parallels” between gender and LGBT eventually break down because a woman joins the workplace under no guise and there is a business objective to help her move upwards.

“Now let’s take a man who is openly gay at university; he goes straight back into the closet in the workforce and until he feels that he can say what his sexuality is, he will keep it to himself. That’s the difference.”

Apple chief executive Tim Cook only recently publicly acknowledged his sexuality and remains in the minority of FTSE 500 chief executives (CEOs) to do so. Browne said Cook’s decision to disclose is among one of the most important he could have done to foster an environment of inclusion and signal that success is possible regardless of sexual inclination.

The business case for an inclusive organisation was made in a recent survey of senior LGBT business figures by networking organisation OUTstanding. Of the 200 people polled, 85 per cent thought closeted workers spent too much energy on pretending to be straight and 61 per cent said as a result, they will not work as hard for their company.

Before any headway can be made in turning this around, company CEOs have to set the right tone for the business.

“All it needs is a few CEOs nudging and pushing to make a difference,” he said. And whilst many leaders are yet to pave a way by opening up personally, LGBT networks within organisations have been widely supported and encouraged.

“These are fine but they’re nothing like enough. Unless they have straight allies on them and are connected to the top then they are interesting places to swap stories but they don’t actually communicate and affect the company,” he said.

“And seeing as we know almost all CEOs are straight, the CEO downwards has to be connected as well as through people who joined an LGBT network because they are gay. So it’s not enough to say the LGBT folk will look after themselves on this one. They won’t.”

Browne went on to call for businesses to invest more time and resource into measurement. He suggested employees, including those at executive level and on the board, are voluntarily asked to state their sexuality.

“And companies would be required to report on it,” he said.

For global businesses operating in countries where homosexuality remains illegal Browne said there are numerous challenges but ensuring suppliers have the same policies about LGBT inclusion before working with them is a small step in the right direction.

Finally, in the light of the many industries fearing a talent shortage, CEOs ignore these issues at the risk of being overlooked by young people joining the workforce.

“People who had to reconcile contradictions early in their life tend to think a lot, tend to be on point. And to send signals that [LGBT employees] are doomed [to climb the ladder] – why would they bother joining?”

Commenting on what can be done in marketing and advertising, Sorrell said many clients remain wary of being “offensive” by showing gay couples in campaigns.

“We had one client recently where we had the option to include a gay couple and it was rejected for being too provocative,” he revealed.

However, brands such as Tiffany &Co and Coca-Cola have featured same-sex couples in their advertising.