Are we there yet – a truly diverse and inclusive workplace?
So, we all want to be inclusive leaders, right? How do we combat and mitigate unconscious bias and turn good intentions into meaningful change?
At our Building Inclusive Communities program day on 25 March 2022 Bree Gorman challenged us with the following questions: Do we change the people, or do we change the system? Do we strongly encourage study, programs, and rewards for people so that when opportunities are presented, they are the best candidate for the position? Or do we focus less on merit and the fact that they may ‘hit the ground running’ and ask ourselves if we could gain a lot more by having differing opinions and being challenged to think outside the box?
We were asked to look at ourselves and others in a different way, reflecting on unconscious bias, privilege, following the status quo, and whether our actions may in fact be microaggressions, or excluding others.
Is it any wonder then that diversity and inclusion is a challenge facing many companies and industries as these kinds of conversations begin to emerge? Perhaps in doing so, there may be endless possibilities and advantages relating to the values of innovation, diverse opinions, gender equality, and human rights.
I reflected on Bree’s comments about ‘how things have always been.’ I asked myself; why do I wear ties to interviews? Will I ever wear a tie to the workplace? Or is this a relic of a time where the workplace was dominated by people wearing suits, ties, and blazers?
I guess the answer to ‘are we there yet?’ is no, we are not there yet. We all have a lot of learning and growth ahead of us, but we are progressing forward on the right path.
A huge thank you to all our presenters and the knowledge and thought-provoking discussions and inspiration they have brought to us:
- Bree Gorman, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant
- Sparklez Hernan, SAFE in the South West, LGBTQIA+ Support and Connection, Brophy Family and Youth Services and Ethan Bloom
- Kylie Thulborn, Co-Founder – Find Your Voice Choir and choir participants
- Emily Falla (LGSC Alumni) Manager of Aboriginal Programs, Noongar/Wongi, South West Healthcare
Raymon Barber, 2022 LGSC Program Participant