7 ways to celebrate cultural diversity at work

7 ways to celebrate cultural diversity at work

Did you know Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world? With approximately 30 per cent of Australia’s population born overseas1, Harmony Week (15 – 21 March) is a great opportunity to acknowledge cultural diversity in the workplace. Here are seven ways you can promote inclusiveness, respect and belonging at work.

Celebrate

Wear orange during Harmony Week

Orange signifies social communication, meaningful conversations, the freedom of ideas and mutual respect. That’s why it was the colour chosen to represent Harmony Week. Encourage employees to raise awareness and show their support for the cause by wearing orange to work or on video calls during Harmony Week.

Celebrate religious holidays and events

Keep a calendar of cultural and religious holidays and ask employees which holidays they’d like to celebrate. Not only does inclusion fuel team performance, it also fosters employee satisfaction, success and security. One survey found that employees in inclusive teams are five times more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than those in non-inclusive teams.2 Utilise the official event planning kit, promotion kit and range of resources for your Harmony Week celebrations.

Change your logo for Harmony Week

Show your support for cultural diversity in the workplace by changing your company logo during Harmony Week. Colour your logo the Harmony Day orange and don’t forget to change it on your intranet, social media platforms and websites for the week.

Educate

Map it out

Hang a world map in the office and ask team members to put a pin on the country their family is from. This activity can inspire open discussions about different religious holidays, cultural dishes and traditions your team enjoys.

Communicate internally

Make use of your internal communication channels (such as your intranet, Slack, Yammer or Workplace) to educate and involve employees in cultural celebrations. Sharing information about upcoming cultural events can lead to greater understanding among a diverse workforce. Research shows that businesses perform well when employees feel included and their workplace is strongly committed to supporting diversity.3

Support

Invest in employee diversity training

Diversity training is an essential step in fostering a more open workplace culture. And chances are, your employees will welcome the initiative. Research states three out of four Australian workers support their organisation’s efforts in creating a workplace that is diverse and inclusive.4 Effective diversity training should raise awareness of the importance of working with people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. Focus on topics such as inclusion, racial sensitivity and unconscious bias in the workplace.

Support diverse suppliers

Purchasing products from Indigenous organisations is a great way to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities – which is one way to support diversity. You can view our comprehensive range of products from Indigenous suppliers here. We partner with nine certified Indigenous brands to help create positive social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. When you buy Indigenous, you’re making a difference.

The future of diversity and inclusion in the workplace relies on ongoing communication and education. Celebrating cultural diversity at work allows employees to connect and develop a true sense of belonging.

7 ways to celebrate cultural diversity at work

References

1Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, 2021, “Workplaces”, <https://www.harmony.gov.au/get-involved/workplaces>

2Diversity Council Australia, 2020, “Inclusion@Work Index”, <https://www.dca.org.au/sites/default/files/inclusion-at-work-index/dca_inclusive_index_2019_synopsis_online_new_accessible.pdf>

3Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020, “Migration Australia”, <https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/migration-australia/latest-release#key-statistics >

4Diversity Council Australia, 2021, “DCA-SUNCORP INCLUSION@WORK INDEX:
MAPPING THE STATE OF INCLUSION IN THE AUSTRALIAN WORKFORCE”, <https://www.dca.org.au/inclusion-at-work-index>