Majority of Australian small businesses support marriage equality, diversity: survey

A survey of Australian small to medium businesses has shown an increase in support for marriage equality.

Members and supporters of Melbourne's gay and lesbian community take part in the annual Midsumma Pride march through St. Kilda in Melbourne, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.  (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

The annual Midsumma Pride march through St. Kilda in Melbourne, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Source: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

A Sensis survey of 1,000 business owners has shown 63 per cent would support marriage equality, an increase of 8 percentage points from the company’s survey last year.

Only two per cent of business owners said same-sex marriage would have a negative impact on their business, with the vast majority reporting it would be a positive change or have no impact at all.

Business owners in finance, insurance, communications, property, business services and health and community services were most supportive.

Support was weakest among those working in transport, construction and wholesale.

The survey showed no significant difference between business owners in metro and regional areas, but Victoria and ACT-based businesses had the highest levels of support.

“Much has been spoken about large corporates and organisations supporting marriage equality, the evidence is now in that small and medium businesses – the back-bone of the Australian economy – also support this initiative,” Sensis CEO John Allan said.

When asked what their personal views were, 67 per cent said they supported marriage equality.

Of those surveyed, the overwhelming majority spoke English as a first language, but 59 per cent said that they thought they had culturally diverse workforces.

Business owners in the health and community services sector and in hospitality were most likely to report diverse workforces.

“Business is strengthened by the contribution made from a workforce that harnesses the unique talents, skills, perspectives and experiences of all its people regardless of age, gender, sexuality, physical ability, ethnicity or Indigenous background,” Mr Allan said.

2 min read
Published 7 February 2017 at 9:03am
By Ben Winsor