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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Making it real in the workplace

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Making it real in the workplace – Insights from BSI’s Future Learning Podcast

Welcome back to the BSI Future Learning Series podcast. In our second series, we’re going to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and unpack the strategies, learning, actions, and commitments that are making a difference in Australian workplaces in 2024.

According to a recent report by the Australian Human Resources1, 84% of HR professionals recognise DEI as critical to their organisation's future. However, only 50% reported that their organisations prioritise DEI in a meaningful way. This discrepancy underscores the challenges in implementing real change and emphasises the need for a shift in culture, learning, and organisational paradigms and behaviour, at all levels of any organisation seeking to do better.

To get deeper than buzzwords and empty promises, DEI needs to be understood as a journey—one that will never be over, but that every team and individual can move towards a place where difference is accepted, nurtured and celebrated as a differentiator and a core of successful, innovative and productive teams. As we navigate this path, we acknowledge that perfection is not the goal; progress is. It's about reshaping organisational culture and embracing new ways of thinking and doing.

In this episode, Kala Philip and Simon Dewar are joined by two incredible guests who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to our discussion. Nola Turner Jensen, an Aboriginal linguist and Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at the University of Melbourne, offers invaluable insights into First Nations cultural inclusion and truth telling. Anneli Blundell, is an award-winning learning professional and author of “The Gender Penalty” and rounds out our panel, sharing her expertise in the DEI space with Kala and Simon.
As we embark on this conversation, we aim to unpack the complexities of DEI and explore its implications for individuals and organisations. What does DEI mean in practice, and where do we begin? Join us as we delve into each individual's perspective on the topic.

Unpacking Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Insights from Educators

The Challenge of Consistency: Navigating DEI Definitions
Nola begins, by pointing out that a significant hurdle in the DEI space is the lack of consistency in understanding and defining what DEI actually means. You can look at inclusion from a multitude of lenses, and depending on which you are looking through, the flavour and needs of different groups changes. Although at the core, equity and belonging is a theme - this inconsistency highlights just how complex DEI is and underscores the need for ongoing discussions, and a breadth of education beyond just awareness level, or compliance driven, or tick the box approaches to learning.

Creating Inclusive Spaces: Meeting Unconscious Needs
Nola stresses the importance of meeting the unconscious needs of everyone in the room. She explains that true inclusion is about making individuals feel like their history, ancestry, and knowledge are valued —a task that requires real effort and sensitivity.

Staying in Your Diversity Lane: A Framework for Inclusion
Nola introduces the idea of "diversity lanes," urging individuals to recognise their expertise and limitations while welcoming diverse perspectives. She reckons this approach can lead to more productive and inclusive systems.

Anneli's Insights: Being True and Humble in DEI
Anneli backs up Nola's views, highlighting the importance of authenticity and humility in navigating DEI issues. She emphasises the need for ongoing self-awareness and learning, knowing that nobody has all the answers.

Embracing Self-awareness: A Journey of Learning
Anneli stresses the importance of self-awareness and ongoing learning on the DEI journey. She encourages listeners to embrace humility and curiosity, recognising that true progress in DEI means committing to growth and evolution.

Conclusion: Moving Towards a Fair Go for All
In wrapping up, Nola and Anneli prompt listeners to think about their own practices and commitments to creating inclusive environments. As we keep navigating the complexities of teams, working life and business, it is clear there are paths to a fairer, more inclusive team culture that allows individuals to bring their full selves to their roles and the workplace.  

We hope that you enjoy the second episode of our BSI Future Learning podcast series. Our aim is to empower organisations with indispensable insights, and tools in building organisational resilience and fostering a proactive approach towards all facets of learning.

Learn more about how BSI digital can help you with your Diversity and Inclusion learning needs - get in contact with one of our team.

Stay tuned for more on the next episode of BSI’s Future Learning Podcast.
Thank you for tuning in!

Simon, Kala, and the BSI Team