Through my work with Xplore, and through my own professional coaching services, I am exposed to the wisdom and insights from a great many businesswomen, and an increasing number of men.
Every one of these people are striving to make things better in some way – for themselves and the people they care about, their workplace, their community, and the world more broadly.
The topic of ‘equality and inclusion’ is a critical conversation that everyone is having, but never more so than now as we await the outcome of the marriage equality vote.
Below, I share my ‘A to Z’ on equality and inclusion, gleaned through my work in the space over the past 12 months.
A — “Ageism needs to be called out, just like any other form of discrimination.” (from Diana Ryall AM, Founder and Director, Xplore for Success)
B — Belonging. When your people feel like they belong, not that they have to ‘fit in’, you create an inclusive culture. (fro, Catalyst.org)
C — “Celebrating, not tolerating, diversity is my vision for Australia.” (from Fiona de Jong, former CEO, Australian Olympic Committee)
D — “Disability is often overlooked when we talk inclusion. I have never sat across a table with another disabled person in my entire working career.” (from Annabelle Williams OAM, Lawyer and Paralympian)
E — Exclusion is something all of us have experienced in our lives. It hurts. We feel shame. If we remind ourselves of how we felt at that time, we can better empathise with those who experience exclusion every day.
F — Fairness. That’s how kids describe equality. Simple. True.
G — “Gender equality is the unfinished business of the 21st century.” (from Elizabeth Broderick AO, Business & Social Change Leader)
H — “How leaders act is key. As a leader, take the culture to where it needs to be.” (from Ahmed Fahour, CEO, Australia Post)
I — Intersectionality. It’s the ‘double whammy’ (or more) of disadvantage. People are hit at the ‘crossroad’ of discrimination. Gender and race; age and sexuality; disability and religion. Or multiples of the combinations.
J — Judge and assess all situations with a wide lens on diversity. You will make better decisions and build inclusion.
K — Kindness is a personal trait of inclusive leaders.
L — “Inclusive leadership is able to be learnt.” (fro, Tracey Fellows, CEO, REA Group)
M — “Mirror your employee base to your customer base. That is our goal at CBA, so that we can best understand and serve our customers.” (Huseyin (Huss) Mustafa AOM, Commonwealth Bank of Australia)
N — Now is the time for us all to stand up and speak out for equality and inclusion.
O — “Own your mistakes as a leader, and stand up for what is right.” (from Dale Connor, Managing Director, Building, Lendlease)
P —Physiological safety is the ability for people to feel safe to bring their whole selves to work without any fear of exclusion.
Q — LGBTIQ. “I have always been open about my sexuality at work” (fro Stephen Barrow, Executive General Manager, People, Culture & Capability, National Australia Bank). We need a world where this is ‘okay’ for all LGBTIQ people.
R — “Respect lies in the heart of inclusionary leadership.” (from Luke Cornelius, Assistant Commissioner VEOHRC, Victoria Police)
S — Sport in Australia has made some positive forward movement when it comes to gender and diversity. The AFLW and Women’s Cricket are two examples.
T —Teams. “I discovered that building and leading a diverse team was all about enabling rather than a controlling mindset.” (Steve Vamos, Non-Executive Director, Telstra & Fletcher Building)
U — Uniqueness. We need to embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of individuals. This is where innovation and creativity come alive.
V — Values. “Name inclusiveness as one of your organisational values.” (from Jonathan Nicholas, CEO, ReachOut Australia)
W —Wand: “If I had a magic wand I would want all adults to retain the innocence of children. Children aren’t born racist.” (from, Mariam Veiszadeh, Senior Manager, Inclusion & Diversity, Westpac)
X — Xenophobia. The fear, dislike, hatred and prejudice against people from other countries. This has no place in any workplace, culture or country.
Y — Young and older people experience age discrimination at work.
Z — Zero tolerance. Take a stand. Speak up. Call out all exclusion and discrimination.
In Sydney on Thursday, 30 November? Xplore is hosting Equality Now: The lowdown on the upside of equality, a no holds barred panel conversation with Lisa Annese, Benjamin Law, Ursula McGoewn and Diana Ryall AM. 100% of ticket sales are being donated to Dress for Success Sydney.