All Hands In? Making Diversity Work for All

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OECD societies have become increasingly diverse in the past decades, offering new opportunities if diversity is properly managed. Ensuring that OECD countries are equipped to make the most of diversity by fully utilising all talent among diverse populations and promoting inclusive labour markets is a key challenge. Both businesses and governments are responding to this challenge with policies to strengthen the inclusion of diverse groups in the workplace and labour markets. This report considers five key groups who are widely considered disadvantaged in the labour market and society at large and who often face discrimination based on their group membership: immigrants, their descendants and ethnic minorities; LGBT people; older people; people with disabilities; and women. It assesses: i) how the inclusion of these groups in OECD labour markets has evolved over time, ii) the evidence on how diversity affects economic outcomes; and iii) which policies countries have implemented and what is known about their effectiveness.



The year 2020 has started with COVID-19 pandemic becoming the most severe human health crisis in a century, and this has quickly turned into the biggest economic crisis since the Second World War. The depth and reach of this crisis has exposed once again existing inequalities in our economies and societies and risks further widening them. Older people and many people with disabilities are facing elevated COVID-19 health risks, but, in many countries, ethnic minorities are also disproportionately more likely to die than the majority population. The disease is also affecting disproportionally migrants, partly because they have restricted access to health care, but also because they may live and work in conditions where social distancing is hard to enforce. A further reason, common to many different social minorities, is that a lifetime of disadvantage and low social status, leaves them more vulnerable to disease than mainstream groups.


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