Workplace Diversity in Australia
Australia has one of the most diverse populations in the world. The people we work with and provide services to, now and into the future, may be very different to us and may not aspire to be like us.
Workplace Diversity is about us and the people we work with. Workplace diversity is about understanding the individual differences of people who come from a broad range of abilities, backgrounds and cultures.
It is about recognising the value of using those different perspectives and working towards enhancing the quality and relevance of each person’s ability.
Diversity is reflected in things such as gender, age, language, cultural background, sexual orientation, religious belief, family responsibilities, marital status, life experience, level of education, socio-economic background, disabilities, personality, values, perceptions and attitudes.
The benefits of Workplace Diversity
Employing a diverse workforce provides a number of benefits to employees, employers and clients, including:
- creating a richer workplace through harnessing different perspectives
- increased creativity, innovation and success in problem solving
- improved client service and satisfaction
- an enhanced corporate image
- more effective communication networks
- better team work by encouraging creativity, inclusiveness and respect for all
- greater employee engagement, and
- an improved ability to attract and retain employees.
How do we make Workplace Diversity work for you?
Many companies have policies and procedures to support Workplace Diversity but how do you make it happen? Unlike teaching "hard" skills, workplace diversity involves impacting upon the belief systems that participants might hold. It's a lot different than teaching typing for instance, where there is no emotional content or barriers to looking at things in a different way.
Words, by themselves have minimal impact in changing beliefs, particularly when it comes to stereotypes or negative attitudes. The presentation of facts also doesn't work well.
There has to be at least some level of experiences that help participants FEEL what's it's like to be a minority, or excluded.
To make diversity a reality in the workplace and to capture its many benefits we must first step back and look at culture in detail and explore our individual cultural awareness.
An understanding of culture & cultural awareness combined with workshops that stimulate experiential learning though the use of games and role play are the necessary first steps to change beliefs that will help realise improved workplace inclusion and diversity and their benefits.
SantePlus+ takes participants on a journey that first explains the importance and benefits of workplace inclusion and diversity and then focuses on culture in terms of people’s country of origin and ethnicity. We explore culture and then individual cultural awareness so that participants are encouraged to come to terms with their attitudes and beliefs about others while gaining comfort in the differences. The facilitator, Christine Smith, uses her personal journey to make this presentation and workshop real, engaging and relevant. For more information contact see http://www.santeplus.life