BACKGROUND COLOUR

Putting an end to workplace discrimination

Asian-Australians are the second group after Middle Eastern-Australians to have changed their behaviour at work because of discrimination. They also think they are under-represented in leadership positions although fewer than half of those surveyed think there should be policy action to change this.

52 %

More than half of those Asian-Australians who reported discrimination in the workplace changed how they acted at work.

47 %

Nearly half of those surveyed thought Asian-Australians had to work harder than others to win promotion, while 30 % thought they didn’t have to work as hard.

43 %

Of all respondents, 43% felt Asian-Australians were under-represented in leadership positions.

51 %

More than half of those Asian-Australians surveyed didn’t think quotas or targets should be imposed to improve representation in leadership positions.

Actions Taken at Work by Asian-Australians because of Discrimination (2019)
Has discrimination, or the fear of discrimination, based on your ethnic origin changed how you act in the workplace?
Sources & Methodology
Variable description By action taken at work
Variable time span 2019
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/publications/research-note-asian-australian-experiences-discrimination-0
Data Source doi:10.26193/4G6EAT
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Nearly two-thirds of Asian-Australians surveyed report experiencing discrimination in the workplace, and more than half have changed their behaviour as a consequence.

Nearly two-thirds of Asian-Australians surveyed by ANU Poll report experiencing discrimination in the workplace, and more than half - 52 per cent - have changed their behaviour as a consequence. The most common action was to ‘be less outspoken at work” with 22 per cent reporting they had done this.

Those surveyed also report being less aggressive in their work style, withholding personal information about themselves and modifying or changing their appearance.

On balance, it would appear that the general population do not think that having an Asian-Australian identity is an important component of promotion success, either positively or negatively. 30 per cent thought Asian-Australians didn't have to work as hard as others to win a promotion while 47 per cent thought they had to work harder than others.

42 per cent thought Indigenous Australians didn't have to work as hard as others to win promotion, while 38 per cent thought this of Anglo-Australians.

Perceived barriers in achieving leadership positions, by Asian-Australian identification (2019)
QUESTION
Sources & Methodology
Variable description Per cent by population sector
Variable time span 2019
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/publications/research-note-asian-australian-experiences-discrimination-0
Data Source doi:10.26193/4G6EAT
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Nearly half of all those surveyed think Asian-Australians are under-represented in leadership positions.

Nearly half of all those surveyed, and just over half of those Asian-Australians surveyed, think Asian-Australians are under-represented in leadership positions.

Asian-Australians nominated discrimination (44 per cent), Stereotypes associated with the group (42 per cent) and Cultural characteristics or norms the group shares (41 per cent) were reasons for the under-representation in leadership.

A higher percentage of the rest of the population, 52 per cent, cite stereotypes as the biggest barrier, and fewer, 27 per cent, think cultural characteristics are the reason.

Support for Quotas for Asian-Australians in Australian Workplaces (2019)
Do you think there should be quotas or targets for Asian-Australians in Australian workplaces?
Sources & Methodology
Variable description Per cent by population sector
Variable time span 2019
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/publications/research-note-asian-australian-experiences-discrimination-0
Data Source doi:10.26193/4G6EAT
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There is not, however, large support for policy interventions related to discrimination experienced by Asian-Australians.

There is not, however, large support for policy interventions related to discrimination experienced by Asian- Australians or others with no less consensus on whether there should be a policy response at all.

Only 32 per cent of those surveyed thought not enough was being done, 60 per cent thought about the right amount was being done and just 7 per cent thought too much was being done. A higher proposition of Asian-Australians thought not enough was being done, but at 40 per cent it is still less than majority support for doing more.

There was little support for quotas, either mandatory or voluntary. 14 per cent of Asian-Australians want mandatory quotas and only 8 per cent of the rest of the population.

34 per cent of Asian-Australians picked optional or recommended targets, while 3 per cent fewer of the rest of the population agreed.

Just over half, 51 per cent of Asian-Australians, want no quotas or targets. This view is supported by 61 per cent of the rest of those surveyed.