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Taking small steps to achieve big goals in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

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With so many different cultures, identities, genders, beliefs, physical abilities, backgrounds and ways of thinking; to understate it our world is incredibly diverse.

Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) is gaining prominence globally as a powerful enabler of business performance, particularly as we re-think our businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have found that companies whose leaders welcome diverse talent and include multiple perspectives are likely to financially outperform others.

Creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is challenging for many industries. This is especially true for the transport and logistics sector, where it’s common for women and people with multicultural backgrounds to work in support and administration roles rather than behind the wheel or in managerial positions. Even with these roles, women account for only 18.7 per cent of all workers in the transport, postal and warehousing sectors, a figure which has dropped from 21.7 per cent in 2008, according to Diversity Australia.

So, how can we ensure we not only encourage diversity but create workforces that are inclusive and equitable, even without a dedicated HR team? At Teletrac Navman, we believe that change begins at the top. We pride ourselves on our commitment to improving diversity within our own workplace and championing ID&E externally for all businesses.

What is a diverse workplace?

At Teletrac Navman, we believe that the diverse workplace is an evolving idea rather than a concrete, definable term.  

Diversity is a broader term that encourages an inclusive way of thinking. It’s the acknowledgement and celebration of our differences, and it comes down to a feeling of belonging. It’s when we allow people to feel authentic and bring their whole selves to work.

It boils down to this: are people free to be comfortable in their own skin in the workplace, and can they use their individual strengths, background, and knowledge to their advantage and the advantage of your company?

That’s inclusion and diversity. And it’s all part of the secret to a successful, thriving workplace and fair work culture.

The challenge

The transport and logistics sector has traditionally been male dominated. So, it’s harder to move the needle toward a diverse workplace than in other industries that may have had greater parity from the start.

Regardless of the industry, if there’s a lack of buy-in from across the board, it can be difficult to drive change. Managers need to lead the charge. How? By taking the first step, acknowledging that barriers exist, and being open to learning. Because, as we’ve established, the meaning of a diverse workplace is complex and ever-changing, so ongoing education is crucial.

Then, the tricky question is how can an organisation make a real difference and champion a diverse workplace? The answer isn’t simple, and it isn’t always easy. There is no silver bullet or quick fix to solve the problem.

Where to begin?

Like most businesses, we’ve always believed in ID&E at Teletrac Navman. But we didn’t know where to begin, how to articulate our thoughts, or how to invest in it.

We started by considering the demographics of our team and acknowledging that we needed greater diversity. But while creating change starts with self-reflection and education, like any good resolution or goal, it truly begins when you make a clear and tangible commitment. Putting it in writing and making your stance known has power.

We asked ourselves: how can we ensure that ID&E is a subject we can return to again and again? After all, it’s not something we do once and then clap ourselves on the back saying, ‘good job!’. It must be ingrained in our culture and how we think. There's been an evolution over the last five or six years where we've realised how important a diverse workplace is, to the point where we've set strategies as a team and started measuring our progress.

This pursuit of ID&E has allowed us to clearly and actively communicate our position with our staff, our industries and our customers and partners. By setting clear intentions and leading with this as a primary business objective, we can include it in our overall business strategy to create measurable change. 

Small steps add up

At Teletrac Navman, we’ve taken consistent steps toward progress by setting achievable internal and external goals. We always look at how we can do more.

We look at internal and external efforts to promote diversity in the industries that we operate in. Externally, we've done great work in Australia and New Zealand with our Women in Transport initiatives.

Internally, we've rolled out frameworks like a women’s council, intersectional groups, which we call Allies for Inclusion, and other employee resource groups. We also provide training in the form of e-learning about understanding privilege and how we can be more inclusive and uncover our own unconscious bias in our hiring practices.

We look at capability, technical qualifications and skillsets, and diversity of thought when we hire. We want a diverse team of leaders. And there are real tangible benefits gained from hiring this way. You can boost revenue, attract and retain talent, and enhance the skills of your employees.

At the end of the day, it's about taking small steps. As Winston Churchill once said, "Perfection is the enemy of progress". We wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. It's about doing something and starting somewhere. It's better to do something rather than nothing at all for fear of not getting it perfectly right the first time.

Measuring change

It can be difficult to measure success on this subject, but you can get a pulse check from your team about how they're feeling. After all, you're aiming for inclusivity and equity, so considering the opinions of your employees is essential. They'll see things from different perspectives, giving you better insight into the workplace culture and your progress.

There is a measurable factor you can consider: the types of people applying for jobs and joining your business – and sticking around – speak volumes. They bring new and unique ways of thinking. You'll start to see diversity of thought, new opinions that challenge long-held ones, innovation and the pushing of boundaries. You'll see healthy growth.

The end is just the beginning

A diverse workplace isn't possible without self-awareness. Managers need to be open to change. By working to identify and remove your own bias first and committing to change, your team will see the shift, as will potential employees. You'll open the floodgates for people from a range of backgrounds. And with brand new insights and diverse individual strengths – you'll create a thriving, dynamic workplace where staff are content, everyone is on the same team, and the sky is the limit.

 

Ready to take the first step?

If you’re ready to make the first small steps toward Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in your business, there are many organisations that can assist.

National Women in Transport (womenintransport.gov.au) brings government and industry together to increase the number of Australian women working in transport.

Participate in A Taste of Harmony (tasteofharmony.org.au) – a free and delicious way to celebrate your workplace’s cultural diversity, support inclusion, and foster a harmonious work environment.

Diversity Council Australia (dca.org.au) offers comprehensive ID&E learning solutions and provides planning support along with examples of policies and strategies you can use to get started.


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