How to capitalise on cultural and linguistic diversity - Diversity & Inclusion blog | Deloitte Australia has been saved
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While there has been much scholarship and research on diversity in the workplace, particularly in relation to gender, one area that has not received as much focus is Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) – defined as Australia’s non-Indigenous ethnic groups other than the English-speaking Anglo-Saxon majority (Sawrikar & Katz, 2009). More specifically, research has not previously attempted to discover where this talent is located within organisations. Consequently, leaders are not able to assess whether they are ‘capitalising’ on the benefits that come from CALD employees. To address this gap, Professor Groutsis (Sydney University), O’Leary (Diversity Council Australia) and Russell (4Points, Sydney) conducted research to better understand where CALD individuals are located within organisations.
The researchers aimed to assess CALD within the senior ranks and talent pipeline of multinational professional services firms in Australia.
To assess the representation of CALD employees in organisations, the researchers developed an online survey questionnaire. The survey was completed by 1,506 individuals across four different Australian professional service firms that were members of the Diversity Council of Australia. The participants were senior executives (Partners) at the firms and their direct reports who were next in line to become senior executives.
In developing the survey, the researchers reviewed a large body of literature, investigated global census surveys and also consulted with industry and academic experts on a bi-monthly basis. After developing the survey, a pilot questionnaire was given to focus groups to test for inclusiveness and appropriateness.
The final survey included 33 questions that measured the following:
Three key findings emerged from this survey:
Reflecting on their findings, the researchers suggested that there were three practical implications for organisations:
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To read the full article, see Groutsis, D., O’Leary, J., & Russell, G. (2018). Capitalizing on the cultural and linguistic diversity of mobile talent: Lessons from an Australian study. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(15), 2231-2252. doi:10.1080/09585192.2016.1239213
Sawrikar, P., & Katz, I. (2009). How useful is the term ‘culturally and linguistically diverse’ (CALD) in Australian research, practice and policy discourse? Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre, 1-16.