Creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace

The first step to creating an inclusive workplace is to be authentic, Multicultural Australia CEO tells providers.

When it comes to developing an inclusive workplace the first step for aged care providers is to be authentic, said Multicultural Australia CEO Christine Castley.

Speaking at the Govern with Care Virtual Forum hosted by Leading Age Services Australia last week, Ms Castley told participants: “Be visible in how you celebrate diversity to create a real sense of belonging. Be very clear about your commitment around diversity and inclusion – both internally in your organisation and externally.”

Ms Castley appeared during the six-and-a-half-hour online event to present cultural diversity strategies in the context of delivering aged care services.

Addressing executives, Ms Castley said: “Think about your leadership and whether it reflects the diversity and inclusion it should.”

It is also good practice to have clear policies and goals, she added. “You actually have to be very intentional about diversity – it does need to be supported; it does need to be encouraged.”

Christine Castley

It is also important to understand bias, said Ms Castley. “Learn about it and take active steps to mitigate it.”

Be aware of the power dynamics in play, she said. “You must be very conscious around who speaks and who is heard in meetings within your workplace.”

Make sure every voice is heard, Ms Castley told the forum. “Try to think about a whole range of different ways in which people can participate or share ideas and perspectives and concerns.”

“There is a risk of people being mistreated or abused at work.”

Among many other programs, Multicultural Australia runs an employment scheme to provide a culturally diverse workforce for the aged care sector.

During her online session, Ms Castley spoke about challenges facing culturally and linguistically diverse employees.

For starters, they may face prejudice during the interview process, she said. “Some of our clients have reported a reduced ability to be called up for interviews despite appropriate qualifications. There have been concerns raised with us of perceptions around a different name on a resume being a barrier to getting an interview.”

Another issue facing culturally diverse workers is not being fully aware of their rights. “There is a risk of people being mistreated or abused at work,” said Ms Castley.

And of being discriminated against in the workplace, she added. “There have been challenges through a lack of acceptance of culturally and linguistically diverse aged care workers by the aged population.”

This is why it’s important that providers offer staff education on cultural diversity in the workplace. “Think about ongoing cultural capability training for everyone in your organisation, and at all levels,” Ms Castley said. “Partner with organisations who might provide you with answers and solutions,” she added. “Ultimately, it’s about ways of working to try and create a more welcoming and inclusive space.”

Comment on the story below. Follow Australian Ageing Agenda on LinkedInX (Twitter) and Facebook, sign up to our twice-weekly newsletter and subscribe to our premium content or AAA magazine for the complete aged care picture.  

Tags: cald, Christine Castley, lasa, multicultural australia,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *