Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion  is a central pillar of the Social and Economic contribution to Sustainable Development. It is also one of the most challenging areas for small business to measure and take meaningful action.

Not having a large workforce doesn’t mean you can ignore diversity and inclusion.  It is also not something that will happen naturally: you have to take conscious steps to create an inclusive workplace and promote opportunities to a diverse audience.  BUT the rewards are worth it!

Building capacity

Diversity in your workforce brings innovation and productivity gains through new ideas and new perspectives, and most importantly it aligns your business with the community in which it operates.  A seismic shift in consumer perspective is underway and businesses will no longer be preferred suppliers unless they take a lead role in aligning with the new consumer mind set.

It is self-evident that engaging a broader cross-section of the community in work will have flow down social and economic benefits. What business must embrace is not only are diversity and inclusion good for their community, they are good for their business. 

Much of the media attention of late has been on climate action, and rightly so, but as the buzz of COP26 wears off  we have an opportunity to consider the triple bottom line of sustainable development. 

Leading by example

How do we make diversity and inclusion the new business norm?  It starts with those in charge of businesses making a decision that it will be!  Once this decision is made it flows through the business, through policy and practice changes, cultural shift, and mindset change.

It is up to all of us to make a conscious and public commitment and to actively seek ways to engage a more diverse workforce. It is our responsibility to our daughters, wives, sisters, to our first nations peoples, to new Australians and refugees and to all people regardless of identity or orientation. 

Once leaders embrace this responsibility they can lead their business to make meaningful change.

Looking back from the future

I heard a story the other week about a leader who was in a position to effect change but needed some help with perspective. They were asked: “looking back from the future will you be apologising to someone you know or love for your part in their lack of opportunity? Or will you be looking back and celebrating the change you made that created their opportunity?”  Personally I would like my daughter to thank me for the changes I have made, not ask me why I did nothing.

Get on board. Be the Leader you want to be when you look back. Make a personal and business decision to change people’s lives for the better, not just some people but ALL People.

Join SDG Align on the road to a sustainable future for people and the planet. 

Start your journey here

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