Embrace the new normal - Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace panel

(picture caption: Professor Edwina Pio with Simon Wallace Chief Executive of the New Zealand Aged Care Association)

- at New Zealand Aged Care Conference, 11-13 September 2018

Our workforce is changing rapidly - it is more diverse and representative of a range of cultures, and this is particularly the case amongst caregivers and nurses.

This panel discussed how the aged care sector can engage and work productively with migrants and enhance relationships with all employees, while delivering quality care for residents.

The panel consisted of practitioners and experts from within and beyond the aged care industry to share their insights, expertise and tips to inspire Aotearoa’s diverse workforce. They discussed some of the biggest challenges faced in working with migrants e.g. values and expectations, and importantly to really understand some of the issues that arise between migrant staff and Kiwi staff and how this can be dealt with. They considered how a culturally diverse workforce is received by the aged care residents and shared some examples of how migrant staff do wonderful and valued work.

I spoke about the hetereogenity among the migrant population of aged care workers and the critical importance of appropriate cultural competencies at work for ensuring a welcoming and caring organisational culture. I stressed the importance of the changing demography of New Zealand’s work force and brought a strategic focus to the discussion based on her research and publications on migrants at work in New Zealand. This was the only plenary panel at the Conference and there was a large audience of over two hundred individuals.

- Edwina Pio, New Zealand's first Professor of Diversity