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EEO & Diversity Research

This page provides links to the latest national and international research, news and resources on EEO, diversity and work life balance. 

All of us are unique

New research February

Maximising opportunities for military women in the NZ Defence Force

At the request of the Minister of Defence, this review is a broad and independent examination into the treatment of women in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). It explores the degree to which Regular Force women are: 

  • treated equitably
  • able to achieve their full potential 
  • safe from harrassment, bullying and assault

The review has drawn on information from reviews of international literature and NZDF policies, data source from NZDF administration data and organisational surveys, as well as interviews with NZDF personnel. Read the full report here

Trivial, mundane or revealing? Food as a lens on ethnic norms in workplace talk 

Talk about food has often been overlooked in existing investigations of workplace discourse. Earlier research established that food talk clearly ‘indexes’ interactional boundaries and informality in typical New Zealand workplaces. This paper identifies the very different status of food as a legitimate topic in Maori workplaces. Within the normative constraints of the meeting genre, analysis compares food talk as mundane in a Maori organisations, but trivial in a Pakeha (majority group) context. Food talk thus provides an unexpected means of accessing information about distinctive cultural norms, offering an innovative lens on areas of cross-cultural sensitivity. Read full report here. 


New Research January 2014

Engaged workers are happy workers 

Employee engagement is key to good performance and directly affects business outcomes. This article outlines five strategies for improving employee engagment and your bottom line. By learning these strategies you can begin to harness your employees descretionary effort and create a better workplace culture. To read the full article click here. 

New Research December 2013 

Presenteeism: why we really go to work when we’re sick

Preseenteeism, otherwise known as coming to work when you are sick, is often seen as being economically driven. But the author of this article argues that there are a whole list of reasons why people come to work sick, some personal, others due to workplace culture. This article addresses the reasons why some people feel they must come to work at all costs, how this impacts the organisations they work for and how to address this issue.

Click here to read more

Subtle but significant: barriers to women in leadership

Subtle but significant is how this research describes the ways in which women are discouraged from becoming leaders. The author argues that leaders learn leadership skills interactively and incrementally – so that increasingly challenging (but manageable) responsibilities must be assigned in an environment in which the budding leader is able to experiment in order to find out how to lead. This opportunity is afforded to women less frequently than it is to men, due to subtle behaviours that have their roots in unconscious bias, such as the scarcity of role models for women, gendered work and a lack of access to networks and sponsors. And the absence of women in leadership perpetuates the cycle.

Click here to read more

Being a just employer: is it ‘fair’ if it’s equal? 

An important read for HR and management teams, this articles delves into what ‘fairness’ means to employees (acknowledging it means different things to different people) and identifies triggers for perceptions of unfairness including these top triggers: pay (freezes, differences in play, bonuses for senior staff), workload (unequal distribution), bullying, favouritism and promotion decisions.

The research highlights the need to recognise and consider the different lenses of fairness in making decisions and shaping policy.

Click here to read more 

New Research November 2013 

NZ business under-prepared for aging workforce

A recent report from OCG Consulting shows New Zealand companies know the workforce is aging and 58% predict this will have a large or very large impact on their business – but only 18% of employers have specific strategies in place for aging workforce participation. The vast majority of the 864 jobseekers and 56 senior business people who responded to the survey also believed older workers offered the senior experience lacking in many industries. But this knowledge doesn’t seem to be extending into hiring decisions. Read More 

Happy hybrid workers

More and more people are working from home and it turns out they might be more productive than their counterparts who dutifully put in their 9-5 at the office. In this recent study of workers in New Zealand and Australia it was found that workers who worked in a hybrid situation of a few days in the office and a few days working remotely were the most productive. Researchers believe this is due to increased levels of satisfaction with their work situation as ‘there is a strong link between happiness and productivity’. Read more...

Respecting personal identity leads to more engaged workers

At some point or another everyone has wondered ‘can I really be myself at work?’ – the answer may finally be here. In a recent study by researchers in the US and the UK it was found that employees being able to socialise as their authentic selves at work led to greater customer satisfaction rates and improved employee retention after six months on the job. It was also found that after engaging in this authentic form of socialisation employees were more engaged and satisfied with their work. Read more...

Accepting mental illness in the workplace key to recovery

Work is an important aspect of anyone’s life, but research suggests it is even more crucial to those who are suffering from mental illness. This literature review from UK researchers explores the role paid work plays in the lives of people with mental illnesses and concludes that continuous stable employment is important to recovery because it helps solidify self-identity and build self-esteem. These researchers argue for reasonable accommodation of employees needs to be made including flexible working hours, providing a quieter workplace and more involved supervision. Read more...

Wellness Statistics

General Social Survey 2012 Results

The results of the New Zealand General Social Suvery 2012 are in and ready to be used, but you may need some help in understanding the results. Check out the power presentation below  for an overview of how you can use this knowledge to improve your workplace.

Wellness Statistics Powerpoint Presentation

Older Research

October 2013 
March 2013
September 2013 
January 2013
August 2013 
December 2012
July 2013
November 2012
May/June  2013 
October 2012
April 2013
September 2012