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Diversity is more than job hires

Diversity partnership

Diver­si­ty is much more than sim­ply a ques­tion of fair­ness or appearances. 

Lack of diver­si­ty both on the board and in staffing rep­re­sents a missed oppor­tu­ni­ty to bring in new think­ing, insights and expe­ri­ence. Lack of diver­si­ty impacts neg­a­tive­ly on deci­sion-mak­ing, ser­vice deliv­ery, cul­ture, finance and pro­mo­tion. Indeed, cul­tur­al­ly homoge­nous organ­i­sa­tions are at a dis­ad­van­tage as they face sig­nif­i­cant blind spots in devel­op­ing their organ­i­sa­tions future strategies.

More than recruitment

But a pol­i­cy of diver­si­ty in recruit­ment is alone not enough. It must be accom­pa­nied by inclu­sion and a real com­mit­ment to devel­op­ing a cul­ture that gen­uine­ly wel­comes, val­ues, and lever­ages the advan­tages of diversity.

All to often the faces are diverse, but the sys­tems, process­es and man­age­ment style remain stub­born­ly Euro­cen­tric and patri­ar­chal in design. 

Diversity is demonstrated in partnership

Let me pro­vide some­thing from my own expe­ri­ence. As the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of TEAR Fund NZ I had an ex-offi­cio sta­tus on our board of trustees. In order to increase an inclu­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion we sought and appoint­ed a high­ly respect­ed Maori trustee with huge expe­ri­ence in the com­mu­ni­ty sector.

Steve Tollestrup
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