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This section can assist you to actively promote cultural diversity in your workplace by providing practical tips on how to do this at the organisational level through leadership and individual action.

What you can do:

  • Circulate the following information broadly within your organisation to get everyone thinking about how they can actively promote diversity
  • Get some staff together (from a diversity of backgrounds and levels) to workshop the top 10 ways your organisation can better celebrate and promote cultural diversity – then present this information to the leadership team
  • Encourage staff to consider how they, at an individual level, can promote diversity within the workplace.

For the leadership team

Diversity in your workplace can be promoted through leadership channels. Leaders can demonstrate to staff that diversity in the workplace is promoted, supported and celebrated. Some practical ways that leaders can foster a workplace that appreciates and promotes diversity include:

  • promote open discussion with staff and be open to educating staff
  • provide opportunities for staff to engage in learning and development
  • be self-aware of unconscious biases you may hold
  • continue to build your cultural capability
  • listen and treat all complaints about bias or discrimination with respect and sensitivity
  • speak up against inappropriate behaviour when it happens
  • when unsure, ask for help either internally or consider bringing in outside help.

For individual staff

While leaders in an organisation can take measures to promote diversity in the workplace, staff can also embrace and promote diversity at an individual level. Some ways staff can do this include:

  • Commit to educating yourself and improving your own cultural competency. For example, take time to learn about the different backgrounds of your colleagues and different approaches to work
  • Actively seek out new perspectives and ideas from colleagues from a diversity of backgrounds. One of the benefits of cultural diversity is having different perspectives and ideas
  • Be considerate and sensitive to the boundaries and expectations of your colleagues. For example, understanding how people from different cultures perceive eye contact and personal space can help to prevent misunderstandings
  • Observe diverse traditions, celebrations, and holidays from many cultures. Also encourage colleagues to be involved with national holidays and traditions. This helps create a more welcoming and inclusive workplace
  • If in doubt, ask. And if you inadvertently cause offence, apologise. By doing this you are demonstrating your willingness to improve your cultural capability, and colleagues will appreciate your effort
  • Lead by example for others to follow.

For the organisation

A whole-of-organisation approach to promoting diversity ties together the individual and leadership level approaches to foster a community of inclusion. Some approaches to promoting diversity at an organisational level include:

  • Celebrate existing diversity in the organisation or business
  • Establish a working group or network committed to leading the diversity agenda
  • Encourage dialogue about diversity – including through surveys and candid discussions with staff
  • Find and support internal champions of diversity and inclusion
  • Set and commit to diversity goals for the organisation.

Useful reading

The content in this section is intended as a guide only and was prepared with the assistance of Cultural Perspectives Pty Ltd.