Champions of Diversity Recap


If you attended the last Unconvention on Champions of Diversity on the 9th August you were in for a treat. Here is the recap from the event.


What sessions were of value to you?

  • All three – the mix was well managed to engage with the theme
  • ALL – I got alot more than expected
  • World Cafe was a great way to meet people, diverse discussions and viewpoints
  • All especially the panel session
  • Fadzi Whande and the panel discussion

What is one change you will make because of your attendance here today?

  • I will be looking at the current makeup of my Council and questioning the matrix of skills
  • Look for people with greater diversity to bring to boards
  • Shake up our board
  • Raise diversity as a discussion topic at my next board meeting.
  • Understand the diversity of our clients and how we can better meet their needs
  • Go to more networking events outside my comfort zone

You can watch the inspirational and thought provoking opening keynote address by Fadzi Whande on increasing cultural perspectives on Boards here.

The World Cafe discussions explored three questions and here were some of the insights captured.

How do WA NFP organisations become a national leader in engaging and embracing diversity on boards to facilitate better business and social outcomes?

  • Share our stories – find out who is modelling it well.  Share positive/successful examples in WA.
  • Be willing to challenge what has always been
  • Audit – where are we now?  Set benchmarks.  Accountability with measurement
  • Change the way the meetings are conducted – where, when, how?
  • Challenge the normal recruitment processes to connect and broaden horizons.
  • Bring together board chairs to discuss as culture on boards are driven by the chair.
  • Explore the inhibiting processes and structures
  • Discuss diversity on boards – what is it? Where are they on the path? Is it broad enough? Is there gaps?
  • Have a diversity action plan on boards
  • Consider quotes to change the dynamic of board makeup
  • Celebrate innovations

How do we move board directors from simply knowing or understanding the benefits of diversity to become active difference makers who champion diversity on boards?

  • Make it easier for board directors “give them the rope to champion diversity”
  • Chair has a critical role – what events, resources, initiatives could be put in place?
  • Explore the risk of not being diverse
  • Implement a public star rating or perhaps highlight through excellence awards
  • Share results, evidence
  • Empower and support champions
  • Support cross industry conversations
  • Broader education initiatives – unconscious bias, chairing, board composition
  • Standing agenda item ‘champion of diversity’
  • Challenge board directors to go to 10 events/networks outside their natural networks
  • Create KPIs “make diversity the new OSH”, report, targets, resources
  • Explore range of ways to diversify thought – experiment with diverse perspectives.

How do we break down silos between different cultures, religions, generations and industries to facilitate innovative conversations?

  • Opportunities for authentic listening – ‘win over hearts to create change’
  • Facilitate innovation conversations
  • Leaders create the right environment of safety, trust and inclusivity
  • Acknowledge where silos exist, develop an understanding and plan approach
  • Support inter generational conversations
  • Practicing identifying your filters, preconceived ideas, judgements and assumptions
  • Create a personal development plan – how can you explore ideas from other industries
  • Encourage strategic thinking to observe where boundaries exist in your organisation and brainstorm ways to overcome insular thinking and action
  • How do we disrupt the status quo? Such as appointment of board positions

2017 Program and Unconvention Dates

Watch out for our Annual Report coming out in October with our calendar of 2017 events where we hope to keep building on the wonderful information explored.  If you would like to assist with next year’s Unconventions please ensure your organisation is a Community Partner and contact Dr Nicky Howe or Alicia Curtis to become more involved.

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