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Continuing Diversity and Inclusion beyond Harmony Week

Many workplaces in Australia are celebrating Harmony Week this week as a time to celebrate Australian multiculturalism and have important conversations about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background.

Diversity and Inclusion (or D&I) has become somewhat of a buzz word across organisations and is slowly but surely embedding itself as a necessary part of how Leaders and Teams are working. Diversity and Inclusion are two interconnected concepts but they are far from interchangeable. Diversity is about representation (or the make-up of an entity), whilst Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the workplace. As discussion around D&I has grown in both frequency and volume, it’s been realised that a diverse and inclusive workplace is one that makes everyone feel equally involved and supported whilst also boosting a positive culture, retention rates and productivity. According to a 2021 McKinsey study, companies with diverse boards and executive leadership earn more in profits and a 2020 study by McKinsey found that companies with more diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues.

The push towards championing D&I in the workforce has also been fast tracked by the growing size of the Gen Z workforce, with large numbers of Gen Z employees reporting that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is a key consideration when looking for a job. As this cohort continues to grow and move into higher roles, we can expect to see D&I become further embedded into ways of working and even organisational strategy.

If you or your team have started thinking about D&I or you’ve seen it popping up on LinkedIn, now is the time to sit down and have a robust discussion about what this means for your organisation. This could include asking:

  • What can be done to achieve greater diversity in your organisation?
  • How can we create a culture that supports D&I?
  • How can we better provide a sense of belonging for every employee?
  • What mechanisms can we consider to encourage diversity of thought?
  • How can we ensure our recruitment process is inclusive?

While this may seem like a big, scary topic to tackle, it’s key in ensuring your organisation is best set up for the ways of working of the future.

About the author

TMS Consulting