Did you know Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world? Australians identify with over 300 ancestries1 so it’s important to promote inclusiveness, respect and belonging in the workplace. We spoke to Scott Allen, CEO of Mandura to discuss six ways you can celebrate cultural diversity at work.

Celebrate cultural holidays and events

“Learning happens when you’re exposed to new things. Celebrating cultural and religious holidays at work gives people the opportunity to learn about other cultures. Activities that involve cooking, dance, art, music and sharing stories are a great way to do this. This exposure can foster a more open workplace and increase employee satisfaction, success and security,” says Scott.

One survey found that employees in inclusive teams are five times more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than those in non-inclusive teams.2

Educate internally

Research shows that businesses perform well when workplace is strongly committed to supporting diversity.3

“Your internal communication channels can be so impactful. Make good use of them by sharing, educating and encouraging open and respectful discussions that champion diversity. This can create a sense of community and lead to greater understanding among co-workers,” explains Scott.

Invest in employee diversity training

Research shows three out of four Australian workers support their organisation’s efforts in creating a workplace that is diverse and inclusive.4

“If diversity is a key value for your organisation, it’s important to invest in diversity training. Effective diversity training will address topics like inclusion, racial sensitivity and unconscious bias in the workplace. It will teach employees the value of tolerance and respect and how to create an environment of acceptance and inclusivity,” Scott shares.

Support diverse suppliers like First Nations businesses

“Purchasing from First Nations businesses is a great way to close the gap and support Indigenous communities. Mandura has committed to donating 20% of all profits to the Pauline E. McLeod Foundation to support the mental health, entrepreneurship, education and employment opportunities for young First Nations Australians. Support diverse suppliers that give back to the community with your procurement spend and stretch the value of your dollar even further,” says Scott.

Do welcome and acknowledgement of country

“For anyone who wants to learn more about First Nations people, learning how to do welcome and acknowledgement of country is a great first step. Doing this before every meeting is a good place to start in understanding our culture and our story. It acknowledges the people’s lands we’re on and the value each of the groups provides us. The next step would be to learn more about the culture of the nation you live in. There are about 780 nations across Australia and 3,800 subnations. It’s all about the little steps,” says Scott.

Partner with businesses that give back

“One of the best things your business can do is understand the value of partnering with businesses who do social good. Don’t just tick a box to say ‘I’m buying from a diverse business’. Understand who they are, what their drivers are and if they provide a product or service that gives back to community. Understand them as an organisation so you can understand where your dollar is going.

“First Nations businesses are usually small, but very agile. If you look at us from a cultural perspective, we’re all about relationships. If you want to create a relationship that supports your organisation’s aspirations and goals and supports theirs too, you’re on the right track,” says Scott.

Scott Allen, CEO

Scott Allen, Chief Executive Officer
Mandura

About Mandura

Mandura is different from other workplace supplies providers. We are a completely separate self-determining organisation, offer a transparent process to report measurable social impacts and are enabled by Australia’s largest distribution network.

Mandura caters to every workplace need across office products, technology, furniture, cleaning and hygiene, health and safety as well as kitchen. Mandura also offers products sourced from a range of diverse suppliers including social enterprises as well as nine First Nations brands, helping you meet a range of corporate social responsibility targets.

By partnering with Mandura you can effortlessly meet targets with a Tier 1 First Nations spend with 20% of all Mandura profits delivered to the Pauline E. McLeod Foundation to support the next generation.

References

1Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, 2021, “About”, https://www.harmony.gov.au/about

2Diversity Council Australia, 2020, “Inclusion@Work Index”, https://www.dca.org.au/sites/default/files/inclusion-at-work-index/dca_inclusive_index_2019_synopsis_online_new_accessible.pdf

3Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020, “Migration Australia”, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/migration-australia/latest-release#key-statistics

4Diversity Council Australia, 2021, “DCA-SUNCORP INCLUSION@WORK INDEX:
MAPPING THE STATE OF INCLUSION IN THE AUSTRALIAN WORKFORCE”, https://www.dca.org.au/inclusion-at-work-index

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