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UC researcher to help organisations track performance in gender diversity stakes

Suzanne Lazaroo

20 November 2020: Launching an Australia-wide survey on gender diversity in the workplace, University of Canberra researcher Robin Ladwig hopes to help organisations uncover the truth of how they are tracking in the diversity space.

“In a broad sense, I have developed an application to evaluate awareness about gender diversity and inclusivity,” said the PhD student, who identifies as genderqueer and uses the pronouns ‘they/them’.

“This survey will be a first step towards uncovering and understanding how gender diversity works within each organisation – how it is supported and understood.”

Mx Ladwig’s research approaches the subject of gender diversity from two perspectives – exploring the lived experiences and career trajectories of gender diverse individuals, and how organisations – which may or may not have a gender policy in place – perform in the diversity stakes.

The questionnaire follows on the heels of one-on-one interviews with gender diverse individuals, and the survey results will be compared with the interview results to paint a picture of the reality of gender diversity in Australian workplace culture.

The survey is free to take and anonymous, and should take about 20 minutes to answer. It includes both open text and photos, in order to get a more accurate snapshot.

Taking a broad spectrum approach across industries and encompassing both large and small businesses, Mx Ladwig also wants to discover if those working in Human Resources, Diversity Management and Career Development really understand the implications of gender diversity.

“There is a lot of research which indicates that when the expression of gender diversity is truly supported in an organisation, there is a significant corresponding increase in productivity and innovation,” they said.

“One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has showed us is that companies that were more open to diversity were also the ones who could better and faster adapt and pivot, simply because they built flexibility and openness into their frameworks in the first place.

“The survey will then be followed up with recommendations on how to improve and sustain diversity. It’s all about how we can make things a little better for everybody – individuals and organisations.”

Click here to link to the survey.