The former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Ms Elizabeth Broderick recently commented on diversity and inclusion in the workplace at a conference held by the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Here are some of the things she emphasised:

  1. If employees are to embrace change to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive then their employers need to lead the way.

  2. She urged the creation of safe spaces where employees could share their views in a respectful, empathetic setting that did not lead to recriminations.

  3. Don’t assume opponents of change have bad intentions. But they may see change as involving the loss of something that they have worked hard for and personally invested in.

  4. The diverse and inclusive workplace needs to deal with the perception, if not the fact, of loss of security, stability, belonging and rituals as well as the positive changes meant to encourage diversity and inclusion.

  5. She asked women who had been successful in challenging environments (“jocks in frocks”) whether they thought it was okay if their sisters or daughters had to go through the same experiences they did in order to succeed.

For further advice on strategies to make your workplace diverse and inclusive please contact our team of workplace lawyers at Nevett Ford