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New report shows inclusion will grow our economy.

Australia has a well-earned reputation for being a multicultural and inclusive society. A place where irrespective of who you are, where you are born or what you believe……you can participate.

According to the report, commissioned by SBS with Deloitte Access Economics, if more of us participate and collectively foster inclusive workplaces and communities, we could also improve our country’s economy by billions of dollars a year.

The report, titled The Economic Benefits of Improving Social Inclusion, quantifies how greater social inclusion could lead to higher rates of employment and better health outcomes, increased productivity, and lower costs for social services.

Deloitte has identified through new quantitative modelling, five areas (or dimensions) through which social inclusion can yield the best economic outcomes. These are:

Increased productivity in the workplace.
Business benefits from social inclusion in several ways – diversity can be a source of creativity and innovation, lifting productivity; social inclusion can also lift profitability and help target market segments. For example – simply increasing the share of women in senior leadership was estimated to increase Australia’s GDP by $5 billion through more creative, innovative and inclusive workplaces.

Improved employment outcomes.
Greater social inclusion means people are less likely to experience discrimination-based adversity, and less likely to experience discrimination in the first place, increasing their capacity to seek employment or gain longer working hours and contribute to the economy. Labour market benefits from improving social inclusion among migrant communities in Australia is estimated to yield economic and social benefits worth $1.2 billion a year.

Improvement in mental and physical health.
Social inclusion can counteract isolation and increase community participation, which helps to alleviate health problems, especially mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The impact of social inclusion in improving health outcomes for migrant communities alone is estimated to improve well-being by $6.5 billion a year.

Reduced cost of social services.
Social inclusion reduces the cost of social services by easing pressure on the public health system and reducing the need for income and housing support payments.

Inclusive wealth.
By lifting wages and workforce participation in geographical areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, the benefits of economic growth can be shared more evenly across all Australian communities.

Importantly, above all else, the report found that greater social inclusion means people are less likely to experience discrimination, increasing their capacity to seek employment or secure better or more working hours and overall delivering economic and social benefits.

SBS Managing Director James Taylor commented, “What this Deloitte report demonstrates in economic terms is that we can do better and if we can create teams and workplaces that are more diverse and more inclusive, there are economic benefits for all Australians, not just those who are being included.”

As Australia becomes increasingly diverse, the importance of fostering social inclusion will continue to grow. It’s why Auspire is committed to providing programs and initiatives that help build capacity in this space. To find out more about our workshops and forums across Civics and Citizenship, Aboriginal Cultural Awareness or Intercultural diversity and inclusion, email us [email protected]

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