Source: The West Australian. Read the full article here.
An Australian-first study looking at the experiences of Indigenous people in the workforce has highlighted a need for increased support for employees experiencing racism in the workplace.
The report — a joint project between the federal Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the Diversity Council of Australia and the University of Technology Sydney’s Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous education and research — encouraged businesses and employers to commit to deeply looking into the experiences of Indigenous employees, and to focus on career development.
In a recent article, The West Australian said the report showed almost three quarters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women did not agree they had the workplace support needed when they came up against unfair treatment or racial slurs at work. Just over half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men felt the same.
Report author, Gomeroi woman Olivia Evans from the Australian National University’s school of psychology, said there appeared to be a groundswell of support from organisations for Indigenous initiatives, but management needed to be ensure their efforts were meaningful to ensure the “cultural load” was not borne by employees.
She explained the cultural load as being constantly expected to be the authority on all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, or speaking on their behalf.
IPS Executive Director Jahna Cedar said the dramatic under-representation of Aboriginal women in senior and executive leadership remained a large concern.
“Only recently the first Aboriginal woman was appointed to an ASX-listed board,” Jahna said. “How are our younger generation supposed to aspire to something they cannot see? We need to model and endorse".
“With opportunity comes prosperity," Jahna said. “There are many Aboriginal women and businesses ready to deliver."
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