Blog

Do your D&I initiatives disrupt the status-quo?

Wendy Lundgaard
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Respectful Workplaces

This week we launched a new program to more deeply embed #inclusion and #respect as part of workplace culture change. Participants took time out to reflect on the everyday assumptions we make about our colleagues at work. We know change is difficult. Removing the barriers to #equity and affording a #fairgo requires a multi-pronged approach over a sustained period. My client is in the sports business.

Elite sport is in the news this week with recent local and international headlines in women's sport raising serious questions and some troubling disparities.

Take the AFLW - a finals ban for a star player and captain Katie Brennan whose tackle was considered excessively rough for women's football and, given a second offence, resulted in a two-match ban, taking her out for the AFLW grand final. The same tackle would not rate much more than a mention in men's AFL and as a second offence would result in a fine. Is this a #sexist position by the AFL Tribunal? And then there is World No 1 tennis star Serena Williams who finds herself now 'unseeded' not because she has lost form, but because she took maternity leave. The policy position that her maternity leave be regarded the same as 'time off for an injury' shows just why we need to continue examining and exposing the flaws in policy, practice and decision making at the very heart of the systems designed for consistency and fairness.

Let's #PressforProgress and examine our own workplace systems, policies and practices that may be unintentionally suppressing progress. One thing is certain, despite confidence that we have 'best practice policies' this rarely translates into consistently sound decisions. Sometimes you may need an independent set of eyes to do the looking.

Wendy LundgaardWendy Lundgaard provides leadership education and workplace training on challenging unconscious bias, inclusive leadership and respectful workplace behaviour. Wendy established her consulting practice in 2006 to assist organisations reap the benefits of high performance through a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.