Class at Work – Does Social Class Impact Inclusion at Work?

May 20, 2021 10:30 AM CEST GET TICKETS

Over the last thirty years, researchers and diversity and inclusion practitioners have begun to challenge inequalities in workplaces through D&I initiatives and programs for a range of diverse groups. But for the most part, they haven’t attempted to answer the question of whether an individual’s social class makes a difference in their experience of inclusion.

At the Diversity Council Australia, we asked this question as part of our biennial national survey on the State of Inclusion. What we found was that despite the enduring myth of Australia as the land of the opportunity, that social class does in fact make a difference for individuals and their experience of being included in the workplace.  We found was strong evidence that people from self-identified lower classes experience more exclusion, discrimination and harassment than people from higher classes.

We also found was that men from the self-identified lower class were among the least supportive for organisations taking action on D&I and were also the least likely to work in organisations taking action on D&I. These results and more reveal that organisations need to consider class when engaging in a conversation around diversity and inclusion.

Lisa Annese CEO at Diversity Council Australia
Kostiantyn Gridin Partner at CFC Big Ideas