Date posted: 19/07/2017 5 min read

Creating a more inclusive membership body

Sharing insights from our recent Diversity & Inclusion member survey

In Brief

  • Our membership body is becoming increasingly diverse
  • We want to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and we help members reach their potential
  • Our recent Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) survey provided valuable insights to help shape our inclusion strategy

Inclusion matters

Our membership is evolving rapidly and becoming increasingly diverse. To remain relevant to our members we want to deliver services that meet their diverse and evolving needs, supporting their development and success regardless of individual differences.

We want all of our current and future members to feel included and welcomed within our profession and our professional body. It’s a vital factor in our endeavours to ensure equal access to the right learning and growth opportunities.

To better understand our members’ perspective on D&I, we carried out a D&I survey in March 2017 which has provided us with insights from 500 respondents to help shape our inclusion strategy.

Key demographics of survey respondents

  •  57% of respondents are based in Australia, 36% are based in New Zealand, and the remaining 7% are spread across the world, mainly across the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong
  • Majority of respondents identified as Female (55%), followed by Male (45%), with those identifying as Non-Binary or Transgender representing less than 1%
  • 15% of respondents are aged under 30; 24% are aged 30-39; 28% are aged 40-49; 22% are aged 50-59; the remaining 11% are over 60
  • 75% of respondents were born in Australia or New Zealand and 89% identify as having an Australian, New Zealand or European cultural background
  • Chinese cultural representation of respondents is 8%, Indian 5.2%, and other cultural identities represented include (but are not limited to) Malaysian 3%, Maori 2.2%, Pacific Islander 1.4% and Aboriginal 0.6%
  • 9% identify as a member of the LGBTI community 
  • 5% of respondents identify as having some sort of disability
  • 49% of respondents selected Christianity as their religion, followed by Agnostic/Atheist (32%) and then Islam (3%)
  • 60% of survey respondents have been a member of CA ANZ for more than 10 years; the second largest group of respondents have been members for between 3 – 10 years
  • The largest proportion of survey respondents (36%) work in large organisations (employing 400+ staff; and the second largest proportion of respondents (16%) are from small organisations employing 10-50 employees

Key themes from survey responses

  • Survey respondents understand the business case for diversity and inclusion
    • 75% of respondents believe that diversity and inclusion is  an important issue for their business
    • 92% of respondents believed that diversity of thought is the biggest benefit of a diverse workforce
    • 67% of respondents believe their organisation would be more responsive to customer needs if it were more diverse and inclusive
  • Diversity and inclusion does not have a consistent policy focus across member organisations
    • 76% of respondents believed that the employee base of their organisation is diverse but only 50% feel the same about the leadership teams of their organisation
    • Only 55% of respondents reported that their organisation had a dedicated policy for diversity and inclusion
    • Of those respondents whose organisations had a dedicated policy in place, 60% were employed in larger organisations (employing over 400 people) 
    • This suggests there is an opportunity to share leading practice between larger and smaller member organisations on approaches to D&I policy
  • Our profession has  room to improve
    • 64% of respondents believe that the accounting profession is diverse
    • 73% of respondents believe that CA ANZ engages with them in a diverse and inclusive way
    • However, 52% of respondents report that they don’t know whether the Governance of CA ANZ (Board, Council and Regional Council) reflects the diversity of the membership
  • Gender diversity identified as a key strategic priority for CA ANZ
    • When respondents were asked to rank CA ANZ’s Diversity Strategy focus areas, gender diversity was ranked highest priority (80%) with multi-cultural, generational and disability rounding out the top four priority areas (people could select multiple responses)
    • Respondents also expressed a strong desire that CA ANZ should have a focus on promoting fairness and equity for everyone.
    • Over 50% of respondents believed that CA ANZ could support them with additional training and development focused on diversity and inclusion

What’s next?

In addition to the highlights outlined here, respondents also provided a lot of valuable written feedback. All of this data is feeding into our plans to launch a strategic inclusion framework later in 2017. 

Our inclusion framework will help us align core offerings with the diverse needs of our members, help our members show leadership on matters of D&I, and ensure that we are seen as an organisation that ‘walks the talk’ in regards to D&I.

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