3 tips to help overcome diversity issues

I’ve been asked to run some one day workshops around Australia in 2013 on “Employing and Engaging Women in Low Diversity Environments”. So as you can imagine I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity lately.

The focus is on male dominated industries – the resources sector, transport, perhaps even trades. Although low diversity environments could actually be senior management roles or even on positions in boards – they’re all very topical at present especially given the recent EOWA statistics. Diversity is an interesting subject because we usually think about it in terms of women or the lack thereof, it can also encompass other areas such as religion or race. So I believe it’s not just about gender.

When we think about gender diversity, it’s usually in relation to women. Looking at the flipside of it, low-diversity environments for men are roles traditionally undertaken by women. Hairdressing, aged care; nursing, executive assistants and what about ‘at home dads’, of which my brother was one. Although you see more and more men entering these arenas, I’m sure they at times suffer from the same issues.

The bottom line is, no matter who the person is or the role they play in life, we should follow some basic rules that apply to everyone:

  • Treat everyone with respect. No matter what they do or say, be the bigger person by not engaging poorly. You don’t know and may never know what’s happening in their life.
  • Remember every time you speak badly to someone, it reflects upon you and not them.
  • In every conversation, aim for a win/win outcome. When you walk away, ensure you both feel good. Even if the conversation is a tough one, words can be delivered in such a way that the other person doesn’t feel belittled.

Follow these few simple tips and there is no doubt the world would be a better place and really, isn’t that what we’re all striving for?

Throwing in one more tip for good luck… if you’re going to an interview, ‘Be yourself and not who you think they are looking for’. Employers are looking for the person who will ‘fit’ within their organisation. If you want to be happy in your job – show your authentic self from the beginning and then everyone knows where they stand.

Glenise Anderson is the Chief Confidence Chick at Self Confident Women, a personal development company helping women around the world create a better life.

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3 replies on “3 tips to help overcome diversity issues

  • Kasia Gospos

    Thanks Glenise for sharing your insight. I would like to point that in Australia cultural diversity is also an important topic. It is typical that women who move to a new country especially with a new language are not treated with the same respect as in the home country.
    I suggest to never underestimate someone who speak with less “proficient” language. If they are here in Australia they are either very smart or very rich!

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