Inclusion is at the forefront of many people and culture conversations now, and rightfully so. There is a growing understanding that simply attracting the best people is not enough. We need them to remain in the organisation and thrive. But how can we be deliberate and intentional about being inclusive?
During International Women’s Month, we had the privilege to participate in an exclusive TechCouncil event hosted at the Google Australia headquarters. The event provided us with invaluable insights on the importance of intentional inclusivity. Here are some key takeaways that resonated with us:
1- Redefining Work Boundaries: One of the first steps towards inclusivity is recognising that the nature of work can be exclusive when it demands individuals to sacrifice personal and family time. To foster inclusivity, it is crucial to approach this trend urgently and establish accountability measures to address it. Creating a work culture that respects boundaries and promotes work-life balance contributes to a more inclusive environment.
2- Empowering Women’s Choices: When it comes to reskilling and workforce re-entry, prioritise asking women about their aspirations and preferences. Moving away from rigid 9-5 workday structures and shifting the focus from mere inclusion to creating a sense of belonging can help women feel more comfortable returning to the workforce. By allowing flexibility and accommodating diverse needs, we empower women to make choices that align with their lives.
3- Leveraging Technology for Education: It’s pivotal to embrace technology as an enabler, especially in the realm of education and training. By leveraging technological advancements, we can make educational opportunities more accessible and widespread. Using technology to deliver training programs and raise awareness can play a critical role in empowering individuals.
4- Shifting Perspectives and Influencing Change: To break internal and external barriers for women, it is essential to shift perspectives and target key influencers. Instead of solely focusing on influencing girls, we should concentrate on parents, teachers, and the school system. Addressing social and cultural norms that shape attitudes towards work and gender roles can contribute to lasting change.
5- Supporting and Retaining Female Talent: As leaders, our focus should extend to retaining female talent, especially during early parenting stages. Prioritise flexibility and open communication to create an environment where women feel supported and empowered to return to work after parental leave. Offering development opportunities and seeking input from individuals upon their return can further contribute to talent retention.
We need to intentionally foster a safe environment where individuals know they can speak up and be heard. When we create an inclusive environment, we not only retain talent, but we also create a space where individuals can thrive and bring their best selves to work.
Contact us today to learn how we can support you in intentionally and effectively building an inclusive workplace culture.
Written by Carina Castro, Marketing Coordinator at The Dream Collective