Snapshot of Discrimination Complaints

Does This Match Your Diversity and Inclusion Efforts?
by Roman Ruzbacky, EEON President

I have provided a snapshot of discrimination and sexual harassment enquiries and complaints (see tables below) gleaned from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VHREOC) 2015-2016 Annual Report. I use these tables in my face-to-face Equal Employment Opportunity, Contact Officer and Diversity training packages to highlight key issues in relation to discrimination and sexual harassment in employment and across all jurisdictions.
I haven’t provided a detailed analysis of the data below. However, coupled with your organisations’ diversity insight survey, you may be able to determine key issues, including:

  • any systemic discriminatory or diversity ‘blind’ and ‘unconscious’ practices
  • multiple grounds of discrimination, for example, a combination of sex, age and parental status discrimination (‘career break’ discrimination)
  • under-reporting of discrimination and sexual harassment
  • an absence of centralised expertise
  • an absence of education or intervention programs or a narrow focus

This information might help you to further develop effective diversity, inclusion and equity strategies to improve your organisation’s culture and practice.

Table 1. Top five grounds of discrimination (%) in employment between 2012 and 2016 (VHREOC).

Information from: http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/types-of-discrimination/employment-activity

Attribute

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

Disability

22%

22%

21%

23%

Sexual harassment

10%

12%

10%

12%

Sex

9%

7%

11%

11%

Employment activity

11%

14%

11%

10%

Race

11%

11%

10%

9%

No. of complaints lodged

1574

1540

1670

1139

Table 2. Number of issues raised and complaints made to VHREOC across all jurisdictions between 2015 & 2016

 

Select attributes

issues

complaints

complaints

 

number

number

(%)

Disability

1808

258

14%

Race

608

100

16%

Sexual orientation

139

25

18%

Carer status

308

62

20%

Age

402

83

21%

Parental status

289

66

23%

Pregnancy

140

33

24%

Sex

472

130

28%

Sexual harassment

437

138

32%

Employment activity

273

114

42%

Victimisation

382

192

50%

Note: 1) There were 8170 enquiries received by VHREOC raising 11,823 issues. 2) The percentage of complaints was calculated from the total number of complaints made divided by the number of issues raised.

Table 3. Number of issues raised and complaints made to VHREOC across all jurisdictions between 2014 & 2015

 

Selected attributes

issues

complaints

complaints

 

number

number

(%)

Pregnancy

159

25

16%

Age

500

145

29%

Parental status

358

111

31%

Carer status

377

123

33%

Sexual harassment

542

183

34%

Disability

2178

752

35%

Race

850

307

36%

Sex

590

235

40%

Sexual orientation

155

75

48%

Employment activity

387

188

49%

Victimisation

518

328

63%

Note: There were 9175 enquiries received by VHREOC raising 13,877 issues.

Ref: http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/our-resources-and-publications/annual-reports

 

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