Diversity in Business – Finally in the Limelight

Acceptance of diversity is part of our society in Australia and Australians do diversity really well when it comes to opening doors to migrants from across borders and helping them build their future here. After all, close to 47% of our population were born overseas or have a parent born overseas, of which, approximately 25% of our overall Australian population are from Asian cultures. This is just a conservative estimation while we await Census 2016 figures.

However, diversity in business is still far from being at its optimal – and this time I am speaking of the big corporate organisations and industries. This lack of diversity across large organisations in management and executive teams – those who make the decisions about the future of a business and how to bring profit to their stakeholders – has finally caught the limelight in business media channels. For example, PwC Outlook 2016, in a recent report analysis (as reported by Mumbrella) found that the average media employee was a 27-year-old Caucasian male attempting to speak to an average Australian today, who is most probably a 37-year-old woman working in retail from, most probably, a multicultural background.

Whether it is the 2016 PwC Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook conference or Cindy Gallop addressing business executives at the Mumbrella360 conference, the focus now is to “bring diversity to business”. These conferences focused on the importance of diversity within teams that make decisions. Why? Because businesses need to connect and build relationships with their consumers to strengthen and grow a sustainable business model. Diversity is no longer a minority and now the big businesses are waking up to the massive opportunities this presents.

Sheba Nandkeolyar, Founder & CEO of MultiConnexions, addressed the invitees at the 2016 PwC Outlook conference launch, in Melbourne, as a panel speaker. Sheba spoke about the importance of marketing to the multicultural audiences within Australia, who represent a revenue potential of more than $100 Billion+. She also went on to highlight the importance of relationship building in the context of multicultural marketing. It is no longer about selling products only through advertising. She emphasised the significance of business networks and creating connections at the grass root level. Sheba said, “Our client, Telstra, does this really well – whether it is growing their business across borders or speaking to their diverse consumers in Australia. Diversity has always been an inclusive strategy. I hope that corporate Australia will actively embrace the diversity strategy. The PwC Outlook 2016 has highlighted the importance of the diversity strategy if we, as a nation, are to succeed in this Asian Century.”

By Arpita Ray

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