Above: Participants brainstorming at the RA Leadership Forum on Diversity.
In a strong and highly visible display of industry commitment to a more diverse workplace, some 160 participants turned out for our half-day Leadership Forum on Diversity in Melbourne this week.
Sponsored by Jacobs, the Forum featured a range of senior speakers from industry and government, including VicRoads CEO, John Merritt; Head of Transport for Victoria, Gillian Miles; Director of the Federal Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Libby Lyons; and Jacobs VP, Patrick Hill.
Participants were invited to put forward their ideas and answers to questions like:
- What's the business case?
- What are we doing right and where are we falling short?
- Are we on track to achieve significant improvements over the next decade or so? If not, why not?
Our participants were told that the starting point for real change is data. The message was what gets measured gets improved - so gather the data, analyse it, and then report it to boards.
And to underline the strong business case for diversity, it was pointed out that a 6% increase in the female participation rate would boost the level of GDP by 11%.
RA will be looking to host more such events in the near future, so watch this space.
In the meantime, for an excellent summary of this week's deliberations, read the article by Jacob's Jayne Fraser on LinkedIn.
Above right: Panellists (L to R) Nicole Stoddart, AECOM; Allan Jones, ART Resource Services; and Gillian Ingliss from the University of Queensland. Below: RA's Lauren Streifer (centre) makes a point during workshop discussions.