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Embracing Inclusivity: A CEO's Perspective on Creating a More Inclusive Workplace

  • Written by Marcella Romero, Founder and CEO and Founder of Arriba Group

In today's fast-paced business landscape, diversity and inclusion have evolved from being buzzwords to fundamental principles for organisational success. The journey toward inclusivity is not just a corporate obligation; it's a moral and ethical imperative. It's about acknowledging the unique strengths and perspectives that each individual brings to the table and recognising the untapped potential that lies within a diverse workforce.

At Arriba Group, we've witnessed the transformative power of inclusion. Our diverse workforce, comprising 10% of employees with disabilities, and representing 71 different cultural backgrounds, speaking 56 languages, and with 26% born overseas, is not a coincidence. It's a conscious choice we made to create a workplace where different voices and experiences are not only welcomed but celebrated.

Our recent achievement in the Inclusion@Work Index, with an impressive 83% employee participation rate, underscores the idea that inclusivity is not just a feel-good concept but a tangible force that drives positive change. The feedback we received from our employees was overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the profound impact of fostering an inclusive workplace culture.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Inclusive Team: An astonishing 94.5% of our employees agreed or strongly agreed that they are treated as valued and respected team members, surpassing the national index by 24.2%.

  • Inclusive Leadership: An exceptional 93.4% of our team members acknowledged that our leadership treats everyone fairly, regardless of age, culture/ethnicity, disability/gender, indigenous background, or sexual orientation, surpassing the national index by 19.8%.

  • Inclusive Organisation: A remarkable 91.8% of our employees agreed or strongly agreed that Arriba Group fosters an inclusive culture where diversity is valued and respected, exceeding the national index by 20.8%.

So, what can organisations do to embark on this journey of inclusivity? Here are five practical tips:

  • Educate and Train Your Team: Invest in diversity and inclusion training that goes beyond compliance. Cover topics like unconscious bias, microaggressions, and the value of diversity. Ensure that leadership actively participates in these programs to set an example.

  • Promote Diverse Hiring and Advancement: Implement inclusive hiring practices that actively seek diverse candidates. Ensure job postings are free of biased language and make use of diverse recruitment sources. Promote diversity at all levels of the organisation by providing mentorship and advancement opportunities for underrepresented groups.

  • Create Inclusive Policies: Review and update your company policies to ensure they are inclusive. This includes policies related to harassment, discrimination, flexible work arrangements, parental leave, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Communicate these policies clearly and make them accessible to all employees.

  • Foster a Supportive Culture: Encourage open and respectful communication within your organisation. Create channels for employees to provide feedback and report concerns. Celebrate diversity and host events that highlight different cultures and backgrounds. Recognise and reward individuals and teams who contribute to the culture of inclusion.

  • Accommodate Diverse Needs: Be proactive in accommodating different needs and preferences. This may include providing accessible workspaces and technologies for individuals with disabilities, offering flexible work hours to accommodate family or personal commitments, and creating an environment where employees can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of prejudice.

In summary, the recognition of Arriba Group as an "Inclusive Employer" by the Diversity Council of Australia is a testament to the transformative power of inclusion. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to our dedicated team and thank the Diversity Council of Australia for their recognition.

Embracing diversity and fostering inclusion is a journey that holds the promise of a brighter, more inclusive future for all. We encourage organisations of all sizes and industries to join us on this inspiring journey. Together, we can unlock the full potential of diversity and create environments where everyone can thrive. It's a journey worth embarking on, and it's one that will define the workplaces of the future.

By Marcella Romero, Founder and CEO and Founder of Arriba Group, a collective of healthcare companies dedicated to transforming the future of thousands of Australians through essential return-to-work, disability employment, and NDIS allied health services.

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