Sydney book launch of Inclusionary Leadership. From left to right: Steve Vamos, Huss Mustafa, Amanda Webb, Mariam Veiszadeh, Fiona de Jong and Dale Connor.
I thoroughly enjoyed every moment moderating the Q&A sessions between audience members and panellists, the leaders profiled in our Inclusionary Leadership book, at our launch events held around the country throughout March and April.
Here are my key take-outs from these discussions:
A — “Ageism needs to be called out, just like any other form of discrimination.” (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. (Catalyst.org)
C — “Celebrating, not tolerating, diversity is my vision for Australia.” (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.” (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.” (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.” (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.” (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.” (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” (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.” (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.” (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.” (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.