Date: 
Monday 27 February 2017

One in three customers from diverse backgrounds ceased a sale in the past 12 months because they were not treated fairly or respectfully, according to a new report released today by the Australian Human Rights Commisssion and Deloitte.

The report - Missing out: The business case for customer diversity - which includes real-world examples of leading Australian organisations, including Qantas Airways and Westpac, found businesses that fail to meet the needs of their diverse customers are missing out on sales and customer loyalty.

“Equality, fairness and respect are fundamental values in our community. This report now shows us how important they are to businesses and their bottom line, especially in our increasingly empowered marketplace,” said President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs.

This is resonating in successful advertising campaigns such as the Tiffany Rings campaign for marriage equality and Audi’s Superbowl advertisement promoting gender equality. Catering to a diverse market makes good business sense; Missing out found one in five customers from Indigenous, gay, lesbian, bisexual or faith backgrounds abandoned a transaction because they were not treated fairly or respectfully.

It also found half of those surveyed were positively influenced by messages of equality.  

“The old advertising mantra was ’sex-sells’, now it’s ‘equality sells’. Two forces are at play. First, in a diverse and globally accessible market place, customers have choices. Unfortunately, organisations often imagine customers come in one shape and size. Our diversity has been overlooked. And that’s a huge opportunity. Second, many customers feel alienated by political messages of disrepect. We want to express our humanity and we can do that with our buying choices and the brands we support,” said Deloitte Human Capital Partner and co-author of the report, Juliet Bourke.

The report, which will be officially released to market at an event held in the Sydney Deloitte offices, features case studies of several Australian businesses including: Qantas Airways, QBE Insurance, SBS and Westpac, whose insights further highlight the findings of the research.

Read the report here - https://www.humanrights.gov.au/customer-diversity-2017

Report Launch Event
Date & time: 08:45 for 09:00 start Monday 27 February 2017
Venue: Level 9, Grosvenor Place, 225 George Street Sydney
Speakers
AHRC – Professor Gillian Triggs, President
Deloitte – Jenny Wilson, Partner, Customer Practice and Juliet Bourke, Diversity and Inclusion Partner
Qantas – Alan Joyce, CEO
SBS – Michael Ebeid, Managing Director/CEO
Westpac – Cathy Yuncken, General Manager Business Marketing
QBE – Bettina Pidcock, Executive General Manager Marketing

Media contacts:
Sarah Bamford
Australian Human Rights Commission
T: +61 417 957 525
E: sarah.bamford@humanrights.gov.au

Adrian Letilovic
Deloitte
T: +61 2 8260 4501
E: aletilovic@deloitte.com.au