|9:00am - 12:30pm||Session 7 |
Race at work
Session chair: Ziena Jalil
There has been a growing focus on racial disparities in the workplace in recent years, but barriers still exist to creating fully inclusive working environments. While most seem to be willing to accept the existence of structural racism, there is still a deep discomfort that comes with talking about race in workplaces.
Programmes to dismantle structural racism are critical and important, but our progress will remain superficial unless we build up courage to have better discussions of race – ones that are more historically grounded and accepting of lived experience. In this session we will start this brave conversation, look at research and evidence from workplaces around the world, and hear about innovative case studies that tackle the issue of race at work.
Session chair: Ziena Jalil
|9:10am||Keynote: After the Tampa|
When the Taliban were at the height of their power in 2001, Abbas Nazari's parents were faced with a choice: stay and face persecution in their homeland, or seek security for their young children elsewhere. The family's desperate search for safety took them on a harrowing journey from the mountains of Afghanistan to a small fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, crammed with more than 400 other asylum seekers. When their boat started to sink, they were mercifully saved by a cargo ship, the Tampa. However, one of the largest maritime rescues in modern history quickly turned into an international stand-off, as Australia closed its doors to these asylum seekers. Twenty years after the Tampa affair, Abbas tells his amazing story of being a child refugee who grew up to become a Fulbright scholar, highlighting the plight and potential of refugees everywhere.
|9:40am||Creating conditions for a cohesive society|
As immigrant-related diversity has grown in New Zealand since the change to immigration policy in the late 1980s, it has become increasingly important to ensure positive outcomes for immigrants. These outcomes cannot be achieved through policy alone - it needs a society willing and able to accept, welcome and integrate people from different cultures across the world. In the wake of the Christchurch Mosque Attack in March 2019, the Royal Commission of Inquiry recommended development of a strategic framework and a monitoring and evaluation regime to improve social cohesion. In this presentation we hear about progress to develop and implement this framework, as well as the ways in which organisations can contribute to building a cohesive society.
|10:05am||Research presentation: We need to talk: Racism at Work|
Dr Virginia Mapedzahama, Member Education Director, Diversity Council Australia
Across the western world, conversations about race and racism are deeply awkward. But, with the global outrage in 2020 and subsequent solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign, came a readiness to be more courageous in this work. In this time of racial reckoning the Diversity Council Australia undertook extensive research to create evidence-based guidelines to effectively address racism at work, and in doing so, support racial diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Drawing from the research findings, we will look at why anti-racism needs to be on the agenda for organisations. We hear about the consequences of silence and discover some practical guidelines for those organisations who understand the urgency of doing this work and are brave enough to enter into anti-racism programmes with their employees.
|11:00am||Session 7 (cont) | Concurrent Session: Connecting Courageously - Is the emotional tax that comes with diverse representation a necessary evil for DEI progress?|
Session chair: Rahul Govinden
This session is for those who wish to consider the specific DEI dynamics and priorities in the construction and infrastructure sector. It will look at some of the barriers identified through numerous research projects and the range of tools and support programmes available to organisations in the sector. Through practical sessions, we will explore how the tools and support could be best activated to drive change in the sector.
|Session 11 | Concurrent|
DEI in Construction
Session chair: Katherine Hall
This parallel session is for those who wish to consider the specific DEI dynamics and priorities in the construction and infrastructure sector. It will look at some of the barriers identified through numerous research projects and the range of tools and support programmes available to organisations in the sector. Through practical sessions, we will explore how the tools and support could be best activated to drive change in the sector.
Panel discussion: Navigating race and culture conversations in the workplace
- Earle Wilkes, ANZ Bank New Zealand
- Janelle Mims, Community Business, Hong Kong
- Fazleen Ismail, Ministry for Ethnic Communities | Te Tari Mātāwaka
Conversations about race and racism can be uncomfortable, but they're necessary for an equitable and inclusive workplace. So what can companies do to ensure that conversations about race and racism at work are meaningful and productive? Open, honest conversations with employees about inequality are an important part of diversity, equity and inclusion. So how can companies ensure that conversations about race and racism at work are meaningful and productive? In this discussion, our panel of experts explore the complexities of navigating discussions about race and identity in the workplace across the globe. We look at the nuances of race and culture in New Zealand, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore. We consider how to have effective conversations with people leaders and colleagues about these concepts, and we think about the principles, steps and considerations for organisations in encouraging race and culture conversations
|Session chair introduction|
| ||Fireside chat: De-stigmatising mental health struggles in a hyper-masculine workplace|
Victoria McArthur, Mates in Construction
Although both men and women are affected by mental illness, it is oftentimes overlooked in males. Due to the sigma attached to mental health concerns, men are far less likely to seek mental health treatment than women, and it often goes untreated. In the construction sector, specifically, men are subjected to a culture of masculinity that contributes to the underuse of seeking professional help, often leading to depression and anxiety, substance abuse, interpersonal violence and overall psycological distress. Manhood needs to be redefined in order to reduce the stigma and to improve mental health outcomes for men. In this discussion we explore what this might look like.
Case Study: From Diversity and Inclusion to Anti-Racism
- Dr Sripriya Somasekhar, Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment
- Stephanie Weller, Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment
"Cultural exclusion" and "structural disadvantage" became preferred terminology to keep DEI practitioners safe from backlash around issues of racism. And the race equality agenda are often addressed through generic DEI programmes, rather leaning into the level of self-awareness and personal accountability that goes with changing the status quo. But the hard work around anti-racism lies at the heart of the DEI agenda, and initiatives that fail to address issues of race in the workplace, risk failure. Through this case study, we will hear why and how a large public sector organisation implemented an anti-racism programme. The way in which bias affected day-to-day decision making in the organisation are addressed along with the prevalence of microaggressions and the impact thereof on wellbeing. We will look at the role of line managers in creating a culture where all are educated enough to understand how to interrupt their own biases and how to address microaggressions when they take place. And we learn about the deliberate efforts to dismantle this through pro-active employee engagement and human cantered design.
|Making space for women and indigenous communities in construction: Case Studies from Canada |
Beatrix Dart, University of Toronto
It is estimated that, in 2020, woman made up only 5% of the nearly 1.1 million tradespeople employed in the construction industry in Canada. Data from the subsequent three years indicate a minimal uptick in the numbers of women working on the tools in the sector, which is similar to the experience in most developed countries. That said, there are some pockets of excellence in construction organisations in Canada that can inform best practice inclusion of women and indigenous across the globe. In this session, we look at the lessons to be learnt from these initiatives.
|Driving DEI accountability and progress through a thriving industry coalition|
Charlotte Downes, Diversity Agenda
The value of industry coalitions is to facilitate change that requires a greater voice and power than any individual business has on its own. Through coalitions, executives can lead the charge on some of society's biggest problems and exercise their collective power as a force for good. The Diversity Agenda, as such a coalition of leaders in the infrastructure sector, reflects on the strategic initiatives on their radar to drive DEI accountability.
Lunch and Learn Session
|1:30pm - 3:00pm||Session 10 | Concurrent|
From Equal Opportunities to Equal Outcomes
Session chair: Ola Ioane
It is becoming increasingly apparent that traditional Western organisational models may no longer be the benchmark for sustainable organisations. Despite decades of focus on “equal opportunities”, global movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter have shone a sharp light on the failure of such strategies of “equality” to level the playing field for all humans to participate to their full potential. In this session we will look at what it would take to bring an equity-first approach to our work – and what our world might look like if we get this right.
Session 11 (cont) | Concurrent
DEI in Construction
| ||Session chair introduction|
|1:30pm - 2:00pm||Strengthening Māori economic resilience through developing wāhine and rangatahi Māori leadership |
Jessica Smith, Te Puni Kokiri
Māori recover at a much slower rate than non-Māori from the impacts of economic shocks. This disproportionate recovery enables the systemic disparities that already exist between Māori and non-Māori to expand. Through its Whānau Resilience Programme, Te Puni Kokiri focuses on strengthening Māori economic resilience through developing wāhine and rangatahi Māori leadership. In this presentation we hear about the mahi to facilitate Māori economic resilience - not only to enable Māori to return to pre-COVID levels, but also future-proof Māori against impending disruption likely to be caused by climate change, technological advancements and automation.
|The Construction Diversity Roadmap as a lever for change|
Graham Burke, MBIE
Construction is a complex sector and the lack of diversity is one of many issues to be addressed. One of the findings in the research commissioned by the Construction Sector Accord was that many organisations want to make improvements in DEI – but they simply don’t know where to start or are fearful of getting it wrong. In this session we hear how diversity in construction does not necessarily require complicated solutions but rather a series of easy solutions that, when applied in a considered and ordered way, create the momentum and the required change. The Construction Diversity Roadmap attempts to provide easy-to-access, easy-to-understand and easy-to-apply steps and solutions for those who want to make positive change for their organisations and the sector.
|2:00pm - 2:30pm||Building a diverse and inclusive local government to create equal outcomes for communities|
Susan Freeman-Greene, Local Government New Zealand
Data from the annual New Zealand Workplace Diversity Survey suggests that local government has some way to go in building more inclusive workplaces. And a simple online search would indicate that Aotearoa New Zealand is not an outlier in this respect. Despite the significant impact of local government on community wellbeing, there is very little available in terms of relevant DEI practices to ensure that the right decisions are made for communities. How do we change this? In this presentation we explore what might make a difference in building a local government sector that reflect the demographics, needs, hopes and aspirations of the people in their communities.
|Procurement as a lever for change|
Alison Murray, MBIE
Driving economic growth has traditionally not gone hand in hand with efforts to confront social equity but, as we emerge from the pandemic, broad interest in socially responsible companies is accelerating. Increasingly, companies who procure from diverse suppliers (small businesses or companies owned by ethnic minorities, women, veterans, members of the LGBT community, or people with disabilities) have a competitive advantage. In this session we learn about policy developments in supply chain diversity, frameworks to drive equitable economic growth and practical examples of how to leverage supply chain diversity in tender processes.
|2:30pm - 2:50pm|
Fireside chat facilitated by Teina Teariki Mana Creating opportunities for marginalised young people in STEM
- Lyndele von Schill, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, Virginia
- Arohaina Owen, Pūhoro STEMM Academy
Due to the rising demands for a workforce with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-related education, there is a need to increase youth engagement in STEM education. Research has, however, shown that youth residing in low-income communities and marginalised households are disproportionately affected by psychosocial barriers, which means that they are often being left behind in terms of educational achievements and career aspirations. In this discussion we hear about learnings from Aotearoa New Zealand and the United States of America about initiatives that advance the educational achievements and career aspirations of youth from low-income and marginalized communities through meaningful engagement in STEM fields and research.
Table discussion - Levers for change to accelerate inclusion in construction
|2:50pm|| ||Closing comments|
|3:30pm - 5:00pm||Session 13 | Concurrent|
Allyship in action
Session chair: Ola Ioane
Many passionate leaders have stepped forward over the past couple of years to introduce initiatives the make their workplaces more diverse and inclusive. Yet, being passionate about DEI does not guarantee success. During this time of acute social conflict we need to support our allies and changemakers with the knowledge, skills and relationships to remain resilient.
|Session 9 | Concurrent|
DEI in Local Government
| ||Chair Introduction|
Co-designing a "coalition of the willing" to improve DEI in local government
Susan Freeman-Greene, Local Government New Zealand
In this session, we bring together those work in local government to design a sector-wide collaborative approach to drive DEI for improved community wellbeing
| ||Did you just say that? Why language matters|
Marni Panas, Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
Language is a powerful tool for building inclusion at work. The way we speak to each other can enhance our empathy, clarity, and understanding of each other as complex individuals with intersectional and varied identities and experiences. However, when language ignores issues of power and equity that shape people's lives, it serves to further exclude marginalised people. What we say, how we say it and who say it, is especially critical when navigating sensitive topics, such as those involving race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. In this presentation we hear about the way in which the irresponsible and oblivious use of language shape people's experiences at work, we discover strategies to keep up to date with developments around the evolving use of inclusive language, and we learn how to recover when we get it wrong.
Fireside chat: Moving beyond western models of DEI to build workplaces of belonging.
- Dr Guillermo Merelo, Auckland University
- Haylee Putaranui, Fonterra
“For the master's tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Audre Lorde. In making the “business case” for diversity, we see how even our DEI models are western. To remain sustainable, will have to reconsider what we value. We will need to move beyond the rhetoric in addressing neo-colonialism and structures of power. And we will need to look at models from the global south of the world and learn from indigenous groups about alternatives that might be effective in building organisations that put people first. This discussion looks at the development of structural exclusion for the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, and how our existing DEI approach still serves to keep existing structures of power in place.
| ||Learning, unlearning, relearning|
Joe Consedine, Director Global Women and Champions for Change
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn” – Alvin Toffler The world we are living in is fast and dynamic. In order to remain relevant, we need a growth mindset and a genuine desire to learn. Genuine allies are the ones who can learn to look beyond their own privilege to recognise the impact of inequity on various communities. In this session we look at how allies become allies and how to support them in their journey
|7:00pm - 11:00pm|
Conference dinner | Grand Millennium Auckland
A fantastic opportunity to network with diversity champions from all over the motu and meet our overseas delegates and speakers. All while enjoying a delicious dinner and drinks.