MiCare is in the process of strengthening its commitment to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace through its Diversity Inclusion and Safeguard Framework and Action Plan. As background information about the endeavor MiCare is heading, I am sharing the below background understanding from the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA), a National Organisation of which MiCare is a member.
Diversity and Inclusion are two interconnected concepts – but as explained by DCA, they are far from interchangeable. Diversity is about representation or the unique make-up of an individual. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment that allows them to work together as equally valued contributors. In the workplace, according to DCA, Diversity refers to the mix of people in an organisation – that includes, all the differences between people and how they identify themselves in relation to their:
Social Identity e.g., Aboriginal and/ Torres Strait Islander background, age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, language, disability status, gender identity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sexual preference, and socio-economic background.
Professional Identity e.g., profession, education, work experience, organisational level, functional area, division/department, and location. DCA emphasizes, that these aspects come together in a unique way for everyone and shape the way they view and perceive their world and workplace – as well as how others view them.
Inclusion refers to getting the mix of people in an organisation to work together to improve performance and well-being. Inclusion in a workplace is achieved when the diversity of people (e.g., ages, cultural backgrounds, genders, perspectives) feel that they are:
- RESPECTED for who they are and able to be themselves.
- CONNECTED to their colleagues and feel they belong.
- CONTRIBUTING their perspectives and talents to the workplace; and
- PROGRESSING in their career at work (e.g., having equal access to opportunities and resources).
DCA states that it is only through inclusion that organisations can make the most of diversity in the workplace.
Cultural Services Advisor