HR Now event digest: learnings from Australia's top D&I leaders

For many of us in business today, diversity and inclusion discussions are taking centre stage. At HR Partners we are right onboard and this week ran a virtual national event bringing together the HR community and some of Australia’s leading HR experts to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion, with not one powerpoint slide in sight!

One of the key takeaways for HR leaders is the critical need to make strong links between D&I and business imperatives; especially with additional cost control measures that have resulted from the impact of COVID-19.

Fiona Vines, Head of Inclusion & Diversity and Workforce Transition at BHP says the business case for D&I is best demonstrated within your organisation when you are able to use your own company data.  BHP was able to access data to show that in the mining critical WHS space, female leaders outperform men in two out of the three key measures - they have better safety results and higher levels of WHS engagement.

General Manager for Inclusion and Diversity at NAB, Niki Kesoglou, says that “diversity isn’t sustainable without inclusion” and "culture has to drive inclusion". This is therefore a key focus area within the business and it provides a voice and value to all employees. NAB has shifted from focusing on D&I numbers and targets for management and moved the ownership of the initiatives to a team-based approach. This enables the wider business to join the D&I journey and understand the benefits and bottom line business impacts, informing the ‘why’ focus on D&I.

One of the virtual event ‘poll’ results showed that 93% of attendees (almost 200 people) did not think that organisations were doing enough to address the gender gap when it came to employing women in leadership positions. At HR Partners, we see evidence of this in many sectors, but it is reportedly most prevalent in technology, engineering, transport, logistics and traditional blue collar industries.  The needle hasn’t moved significantly in the last twenty years and it begs the question - why not? Global Inclusion and Diversity Lead at Lion, Sarah Abbott, says that Lion has introduced a 40/40/20 target for the business. This enables teams to look at gender diversity more widely and with greater fluidity where the 20% positively encourages non-binary genders as well as allowing for some flexibility.  

HR Partners by Randstad is well known for providing learning experiences and sharing subject matter expertise within the HR community. We seek to support learning, sharing and professional growth. 

about the author

Madeline Hill - General Manager - Diversity and Inclusion at Randstad Australia

Madeline is a passionate and curious equity, diversity and inclusion professional who works with clients to solve business problems. Madeline leverages deep knowledge to provide simple, actionable solutions providing businesses impact and seek to motivate and inspire organisations on their D&I journeys.

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