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Good Practice Guide

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion

Feeling welcomed and included has a positive effect on on how we feel at work, our ability to perform in our role, and our overall well-being, too. But the benefits are not limited to individual employees – there is a strong business case supported by research telling us that diverse and inclusive workplaces provide clear well-being, productivity, and retention benefits.1

The Diversity Council of Australia defines Diversity as all of the differences between people in how they identify in relation to their:

  • Age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, disability, gender or gender identity, Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander background, sexual orientation, intersex status, and socio-economic background (Social Identity)
  • Profession, education, work experiences, and organisational role (Professional Identity)

It defines Inclusion as occurring when a diversity of people (e.g. of different ages, cultural backgrounds, genders) feel valued and respected, have access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute their perspectives and talents to improve their organisation.2

A diversity and inclusion policy and strategy for workplaces is a good starting point. Actions organisations can build into a strategy include such things as:

  • Build an inclusive workplace culture
  • Have a plan for recruiting and retaining a diverse workplace
  • Put in place policies for diversity and inclusion that are public and endorsed by senior leadership
  • Ensure senior leadership teams reflect and model diversity and inclusion
  • Use inclusive language

Resource

Beyond Blue’s HeadsUp page provides guidance on getting started on inclusivity and diversity in your workplace.

Resource

the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) have produced a variety of practical resources for organisations wishing to commit to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. To gain full access to their resources, you are required to become a DCA member, however, they have provided some reports and guides that are freely available on their website. For example, Building Inclusion: An Evidence-Based Model of Inclusive Leadership (Synopsis Report), which recognises the importance of leaders in building an inclusive workplace.

Quick Win

The Diversity Council of Australia also have a #WordsAtWork campaign which aims to build inclusion through the power of language.

References

  1. Beyond Blue (Heads Up). Building Inclusive Workplaces for a diverse workforce. Retrived from https://www.headsup.org.au/training-and-resources/news/2017/09/15/building-inclusive-workplaces-for-a-diverse-workforce
  2. Diversity Council of Australia. Diversity and Inclusion Explained. Retrived from https://www.dca.org.au/di-planning/getting-started-di/diversity-inclusion-explained