There’s often discussion around what is ‘politically correct’ and what’s not. This certainly can be a confusing space for employers and employees! We know that conspicuous prejudice and discrimination is far less acceptable today than in decades past, and that laws in Australia protect traditionally underrepresented groups from blatant discrimination in hiring and promotion. Political correctness has reset the standards for basic civility and respect in people’s day-to-day interactions.

Despite this obvious progress, we believe that political correctness is a double-edged sword. While it has helped many traditionally underrepresented employees to experience their workplace as more inclusive, the PC rule book can hinder employees’ ability to develop effective relationships across potentially divisive group differences. Employers need to equip workers with skills—not rules—for building these relationships.

While the subject of appropriate behaviour and language at work is a mammoth area to tackle, a positive way to look at this is through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These three linked values create:

  • A wider pool of suitable candidates for vacancies
  • An increase in retention of valuable employees
  • Increased collaboration and innovation
  • A positive and supportive environment for all employees
  • Improved health and wellbeing for all employees

Did you know that when employees trust that they, and their colleagues, will be treated fairly, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or age, they are:

  • 9.8 times more likely to look forward to going to work
  • 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their work
  • 5.4 times more likely to want to stay a long time at their company

For advice, support and training on creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, contact the Workplace Relations line at QFVG; we are here to help.

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