This data insight considers employee perceptions of diversity and inclusiveness in the public sector. It has a specific focus on gender, sexual orientation and disability.

It is the second in a two-part series on diversity and inclusiveness, with the first pieced focused on the perceptions of employees born overseas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. Together, the two insights provide a profile of our sector diversity.

The benefits of a diverse workforce, which brings unique perspectives and abilities, are well documented. When looking at diversity and inclusiveness, there are a number of areas where the sector performs well. The majority of same sex attracted and bisexual employees (73 percent) feel they work in an environment where sexual orientation is not a barrier to success in their organisation. Similarly, the majority of both male and female employees (71 percent and 75 percent, respectively) feel that gender identity is not a barrier to success in their organisation.

Employees with a disability have a less positive perception on the inclusiveness of their workplaces and this remains a challenge for the sector.

Female and male employees

The 2016 People Matter Survey shows that female and male employees are equally likely to perceive their organisations as inclusive workplaces (figure 1).

They are also equally likely to perceive a positive culture for employees who use flexible work practices (figure 2), with women marginally more likely to perceive a positive culture for employees with caring responsibilities (figure 3).
Figure 1 – My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness | View text version of Figure 1 bar chart below
Figure 1 – My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness
View text version of Figure 1 bar chart 
Figure 2 – My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness | View text version of Figure 2 bar chart below
Figure 2 – There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who use flexible work practices
View text version of Figure 2 bar chart 
Figure 3 - There is a positive culture in my organisation for Employees who have caring responsibilities | View text version of Figure 3 bar chart below
Figure 3 – There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who have caring responsibilities
View text version of Figure 3 bar chart

Women, who comprise two thirds of the public sector workforce, are slightly more likely to report experiencing sexual harassment that men (figure 4). The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission offers guidance and support to public sector organisations to fulfil their legislative obligations with respect to harassment and discrimination. 
Figure 4 - Experienced sexual harassment at work | View text version of Figure 4 bar chart below
Figure 4 – Experienced sexual harassment at work
View text version of Figure 4 bar chart

Same sex attracted and bisexual employees

Most same sex attracted and bisexual employees are equally positive as heterosexual employees about workplace cultures for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. However, a small proportion have a different view, with eight percent of same sex attracted and bisexual employees perceiving a workplace culture that is not LGBTI friendly.  This compares with only 2 percent of heterosexual employees having this view (see figure 5). 
Figure 5 - There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who identify as LGBTI | View text version of Figure 5 bar chart below
Figure 5 – There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who identify as LGBTI
View text version of Figure 5 bar chart

Same sex attracted and bisexual employees have similar perceptions to heterosexual employees about the extent to which their workplace fosters an environment of inclusiveness (see figure 6). 
Figure 6 - My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness | View text version of Figure 6 bar chart below
Figure 6 – My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness
View text version of Figure 6 bar chart

The People Matter Survey asked questions about sexual orientation and about sexual harassment for the first time in 2016.

The survey indicates that the 4.4 percent of employees who are same sex attracted or bisexual are more likely to report experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination at work (figure 7 and figure 8). The most common forms of sexual harassment reported by survey respondents are intrusive questions about their private life or comments about their physical appearance, as well as sexually suggestive comments or jokes that caused offence. 
Figure 7 - Experienced sexual harassment at work | View text version of Figure 7 bar chart below
Figure 7 – Experienced sexual harassment at work

View text version of Figure 7 bar chart 
Figure 8 - Experienced discrimination at work | View text version of Figure 8 bar chart above
Figure 8 – Experienced discrimination at work

View text version of Figure 8 bar chart

While the People Matter Survey indicates largely positive work experiences for same sex attracted and bisexual employees, there is still the need for improvement to tackle higher rates of harassment.

Pride Networks within public sector organisations have a growing presence. In 2016, leaders and employees from across the public service marched together in the annual Midsumma Pride March.

Employees with a disability

Employees with a disability have less positive workplace perceptions than other employees.  These employees comprise 3.3 percent of survey respondents.  They are less likely to report a positive culture for employees with a disability (figure 9) and more likely to perceive disability as a barrier to success in the workplace (figure 10). Employees with a disability are also more likely to report experiencing discrimination at work (figure 11). 
Figure 9 - There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees with a disability | View text version of Figure 9 bar chart below
Figure 9 – There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees with a disability
View text version of Figure 9 bar chart 
Figure 10 - Disability is not a barrier to success in my organisation | View text version of Figure 10 bar chart below
Figure 10 – Disability is not a barrier to success in my organisation
View text version of Figure 10 bar chart 
Figure 11 - Experienced discrimination at work | View text version of Figure 11 bar chart below
Figure 11 – Experienced discrimination at work
View text version of Figure 11 bar chart

Parts of the public sector where people with a disability were more likely to report positive work cultures include the health sector (57 percent) and water sector (56 percent).

The soon-to-be finalised Victorian State Disability plan 2017-2020 will set out shared goals to better support Victorians with a disability in all aspects of their lives.


View the source data as an excel spreadsheet (XLSX, 63KB)

Download Workplace Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness Part 2 (PDF, 218KB)  

About the People Matter Survey

The People Matter Survey gauges Victorian public sector employee perceptions of their workplaces.

The 2016 survey was conducted during May-July 2016. A total of 62,354 staff employed by 177 public sector organisations participated in the survey, achieving an overall response rate of 35 percent.

Notes

Results for questions on positive culture and inclusiveness are based on responses from 51,070 people employed by 123 public sector organisations.

Results for the question on sexual harassment are based on responses from 46,293 people employed by 108 public sector organisations.

Results for questions on sexual orientation, gender identity and disability as a barrier to success in organisation, as well as for the question on discrimination, are based on responses from 57,212 people employed by 169 public sector organisations.


Chart descriptors

Figure 1. My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness.

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement. The response from both females and males is almost exactly the same.
The chart has 2 identifiers – Female or Male, with 3 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Female

Disagree 11
Neither agree nor disagree 24
Agree 62

Male

Disagree 15
Neither agree nor disagree 24
Agree 61

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Figure 2. There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who use flexible work practices.

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement. Again, the response from both females and males is almost exactly the same
The chart has 2 identifiers – Female or Male, with 4 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Female

Don’t know 6
Disagree 11
Neither agree nor disagree 16
Agree 67

Male

Don’t know 6
Disagree 11
Neither agree nor disagree 17
Agree 66

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Figure 3. There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who have caring responsibilties

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers – Female or Male, with 4 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Female

Don’t know 5
Disagree 7
Neither agree nor disagree 13
Agree 75

Male

Don’t know 6
Disagree 6
Neither agree nor disagree 16
Agree 72

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Figure 4. Experienced sexual harassment at work.

Bar chart demonstrating the percent of respondents who identify with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers – Female or Male, with 1 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Female

12

Male

10

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Figure 5. There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees who identify as LGBTI

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers, Same sex attracted and bisexual, and Heterosexual, with 4 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Same sex attracted and bisexual

Don’t know 7
Disagree 8
Neither agree nor disagree 16
Agree 69

Heterosexual

Don’t know 13
Disagree 2
Neither agree nor disagree 16
Agree 68

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Figure 6. My organisation fosters an environment of inclusiveness.

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement.

The chart has 2 identifiers, Same sex attracted and bisexual, and Heterosexual, with 3 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Same sex attracted and bisexual

Disagree 17
Neither agree nor disagree 22
Agree 61

Heterosexual

Disagree 14
Neither agree nor disagree 24
Agree 62

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Figure 7. Experienced sexual harassment at work

Bar chart demonstrating the percent of respondents who identify with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers, Same sex attracted and bisexual, and Heterosexual, with a single category of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.
Same sex attracted and bisexual

20

Heterosexual

11

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Figure 8. Experienced discrimination at work.

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers, Same sex attracted and bisexual, and Heterosexual, with 3 categories of response, Yes, Not sure and No. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.
Same sex attracted and bisexual

Yes 12
Not sure 6
No 82

Do not have a disability

Yes 8
Not sure 5
No 87

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Figure 9. There is a positive culture in my organisation for employees with a disability.

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers, Have a disability and Do not have a disability, with 4 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Have a disability

Don’t know 7
Disagree 16
Neither agree nor disagree 24
Agree 52

Do not have a disability

Don’t know 13
Disagree 5
Neither agree nor disagree 21
Agree 61

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Figure 10. Disability is not a barrier to success in my organisation.

Bar chart demonstrating the degree to which respondents agree with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers, Have a disability and Do not have a disability, with 4 categories of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.

Have a disability

Don’t know 7
Disagree 22
Neither agree nor disagree 21
Agree 51

Do not have a disability

Don’t know 11
Disagree 6
Neither agree nor disagree 20
Agree 63

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Figure 11. Experienced discrimination at work.

Bar chart demonstrating the percent of respondents who identify with this statement.
The chart has 2 identifiers, Have a disability and Do not have a disability, with a single category of response. Numbers are expressed as a percentage of all responses, and may have been rounded up.
Have a disability

22

Do not have a disability

8

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