7 March 2016
David Weiler, Associate
In celebration of the Mardi Gras season that has just swept Sydney, we take a moment to reflect on the positive impact that embracing diversity can have on your workplace. In our most recent edition of Strateg-Eyes we explored how employers can face the challenges associated with a diverse workplace in a manner that allows for inclusiveness and happier employees (this article was subsequently republished on Wolters Kluwer’s Employment Chat Blog). In the same issue, Senior Associate James Zeng demonstrated how diversity allows companies to approach issues from different angles, which in turn can drive innovation.
At the very core of diversity is the appreciation that each and every employee brings a different background and set of values to their work. In this sense, it is in the best interest of employers to recruit people who are able to offer something unique while at the same time are willing to embrace a culture of diversity.
Top employers around the country realise the need to move away from homogeny and many have taken considerable steps to highlight their specific approach to recruitment and the role diversity plays in their business. For example, Pride in Diversity is group dedicated to assisting organisations across all sectors “to develop and sustain workplace cultures in which sexual and gender diversity is not only accepted, but is affirmed and celebrated.”
In furthering this cause, Pride in Diversity publishes the Australian National Recruitment Guide (“ANRG”) each year which showcases organisations around the country that are engaged in LGBTI workplace inclusion. The 2015 edition of the ANRG includes various banking/financial institutions, legal and professional services as well as mining and resource sector employers demonstrating a diverse group of industries embracing diversity. The ANRG gives graduates and other jobseekers a snap shot of national employers that have taken initiatives to increase diversity as well as providing them with the confidence to be themselves during interviews.
The groundswell in support from large organisations to make diversity an important part of their hiring strategy and culture suggests considerable progress for equality in the workplace. However, a company can only be as “diverse” as its leaders and for an organisation to truly harness the potential of its individuals, it must practice what it preaches when choosing its executive team. We work with companies to reflect on their needs as a business, including how to establish and maintain a breadth of experience through a diverse workplace, in order to drive innovation and establish the desired culture.