A new generation of inclusivity is bringing positive change to Australian workforces.
Australia is a profoundly multicultural country. With nearly half of people here either born overseas, or with parents born overseas, and four million who speak a language other than English, it follows that the Australian workplace should be both diverse and inclusive.
Fostering diversity makes good business sense, too. According to a 2015 McKinsey study companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially.
Nicholas Vayenas, director of Sydney HR consultancy Liquid HR agrees: “The changing of demographics and globalisation of business makes it imperative for organisations to acknowledge and champion cultural diversity in the workplace.
“Leading organisations now see diversity and inclusion as a fundamental strategy incorporated into every aspect of the employee lifecycle.
“No longer a check-the-box initiative, we are seeing more CEOs driving accountability across leadership at all levels.”
Lisa Annese, CEO of peak independent diversity and inclusion body Diversity Council Australia (DCA) recognised that there’s an incredible amount of opportunity in culturally diverse workforces.
“At DCA we’ve quantified this in a number of studies which have shown that culturally diverse companies perform better in the global marketplace, display greater innovation and creativity, have greater market share, and improved financial performance and brand reputation.”
Most of all, though, she says, inclusivity respects the most basic human right: happiness.
“Considering and respecting your teams’ cultural backgrounds shows you care about them and that you care enough about them to allow them to bring their whole self to work.”