The Key to Diversity and Inclusion
The Key to Diversity and Inclusion,
in Our Workplaces and Communities
Here in Australia, we can boast a remarkable natural resource: our young people. Statistics from 2016 show that there are over 1.5 million males and around 1.45 million females in the 15-to-24-year-old bracket in Australia, representing huge potential, both to our workplaces and our industry, as well as to communities on a local and national level.
But these numbers can only tell part of the story. They do not tell us anything about the racial divides within Australia, about the poverty that some Australians sadly still find themselves in, even in the twenty-first century, or about disability and personal struggle, and all of the disadvantage that this brings to our young people and to our society at large.
So, what is the key to eradicating such disadvantage? How do we go about supporting today's youth? Should we consider all young people crossing all backgrounds and ability levels, and if so in what way would this consideration benefit all of us?
Fostering a more inclusive environment
The word "supporting" is critical here. This concept of support and mentorship must be at the heart of any moves to protect the interests of young Australians -- all young Australians, not just a select few -- and to move our society forward.
Diversity and inclusion champion, Janice Gassam, recognises this. She cites research that highlights the win-win benefits of support and mentoring in the workplace, eradicating exclusion and division, and sowing the seeds of possibility, potential, and equality in its place.
Gassam spoke to Dr Eli Joseph an Ivy League professor from a disadvantaged and underrepresented background. Dr Joseph discussed how mentoring and the role models and support that such programs provide was critical in him achieving his professional and personal goals. He went on to describe how the support he received from advisors, mentors, and sponsors ultimately served as "a transferable catalyst to [his] future success".
Mentoring in business, and beyond
It makes smart business sense for Australia's corporate sector to mentor and support youngsters from all backgrounds. However, here at Chain Reaction, our focus is a broader one. We strive to make a personal difference for the young people we come into contact with, and to lay the groundwork for a harmonious, high functioning, inclusive society for all.
We invite you to join us or to get in touch to learn more about our mentoring programs. These programs are suitable for all ages, covering the Younger Adolescents program, the Older Adolescents program, the Youth Activity program, the Family skills program, and the Enablers Leadership program.
In addition to programs external organisations like Chain Reaction can offer within your own workplace, your own community, perhaps you can take a moment to consider what you too can offer to build on the success of diversity and inclusion. There is surely someone who can benefit from your experience, especially if you take a little more time to share and encourage success.
Also, in addition to assisting the other, you too might just end up benefitting from their experience too.
Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.