It was a delight to attend the ‘Leading for Change: Blueprint for cultural diversity and inclusive leadership’ report launch today at Westpac Barangaroo and catch up with so many friends and colleagues. The report highlights the lack of cultural diversity in Australian leadership and makes the case for change. As also explored in the Diversity Council of Australia ‘Cracking the Cultural Ceiling’ Report, this issue still needs to be addressed.
It’s good to shine a light on what’s really happening – to frame an issue and make it explicit. But when we have the numbers, and we know they need to be better, what do we do? There is no ‘silver bullet’, no ‘magic wand’. As Rebecca Lim from Westpac so succinctly said “it’s not easy, but that shouldn’t stop us from getting started”. Change is a process. It doesn’t happen in one step. So, we’ve got the awareness, there’s some desire, it’s now time to build capability.
The next stage of the conversation needs to address: what works; what’s challenging; and how do we do this well? Without supporting capability, there’s the risk such reports will result in racial stereotyping and reinforcement of bias. Let’s focus on how inclusion works, how leaders can engage more effectively within and across cultures, and how they can support a high-performance culture where everyone contributes their best.
Find out more about our Inclusive Leadership Program. We have delivered the program in well over 15 countries, and it’s making a difference.