The Diverse Thinking Capability Audit of New Zealand Boardrooms 2018, released last week by Mai Chen, Founder and Inaugural Chair of the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, has emphasised how diverse thinking around the board table is essential to improving the performance of companies and organisations.
The report launched by Finance Minister Grant Robertson, gathers insights, guidance and advice from over 60 top Chairs, Directors, and governance professionals about how best to attract, retain, and leverage diverse thinkers in the best interests of the company or organisation.
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) staff came together for the Inaugural Vice-Chancellor Diversity Awards to acknowledge the diversity initiatives of eight awardees at the Auckland Art Gallery last week. The awards celebrated AUT’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, embedding everyday diversity and saluting work by the University’s staff in the diversity space. AUT Director of Diversity and event organiser, Professor Edwina Pio, added, “Many here will resonate with the echo of myriad memories, of inconvenient doubt, of stumbling, of passing the baton, of broken dreams, of fulfilling dreams and of grit and endurance. We do diversity every day and I privilege hope and compassion as the heart of diversity.”
Consider this: Of the 60 new constables that graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College last week [from Wing 317], 38 percent are females, 19 officers were born overseas and between them speak around a dozen foreign languages. The youngest recruit is 19 and the oldest is 45. One has the distinction of playing in the Ranfurly Shield-winning Hawke’s Bay rugby team, another is a fine musician who has performed with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. There are former members of the armed forces and others who have done valuable volunteer work in the Fire Service, Search and Rescue teams, surf lifesaving and for Women’s Refuge.
The biennial Viva Eclectika Intercultural Music and Dance performance is presented by New Zealand Asia Association (NZAA) Incorporated. With the Late Right Reverend Sir Paul Reeves as its Patron, the association has been presenting the event for over 10 years now. In recognition of NZAA’s outstanding contribution to diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, it was presented by the New Zealand Diversity Action Award in 2014, by the then Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae. This year the event was held on July 28, in Auckland.
As diversity consultants, we get the opportunity to work with a range of private and public sector organisations, many of whom are at different stages of evolution when it comes to D&I practice. For the last couple of months, we have been fortunate enough to work alongside the Department of Conservation (DOC) to deliver Unconscious Bias Awareness Training.