Why It Would Be Great To See Australian Businesses Integrating The Inclusion Rider

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An “Inclusion Rider” is a clause that an actor can insist be inserted in their contract that requires cast and crew on a film to meet a certain level of diversity. The term was used by Frances McDormand in her Oscars acceptance speech in the days leading up to International Women’s Day (IWD) – and has been subject to much Googling and discussion since.

I am a huge advocate of IWD and the admiration, inspiration and determination I felt when I read about the #pressforprogress campaign still overwhelms me. Currently women make up 13% of Group Executive roles in Australia and 63% of the ASX200 have no women in management roles in their executive leadership team, so although there is much progress to be made, it’s promising to see organisations and influencers across the world getting behind the cause.

It wasn’t until I read a piece about Tarana Burke the day after IWD that I started to think about another issue; race and ethnicity. Tarana was the originator of the #metoo movement and used the hashtag to raise awareness for women who are victims of sexual violence, particularly women of an ethnic minority and/or an underprivileged background. The #metoo movement only gained the global attention and support after it was used by celebrities, mostly white celebrities.

77% per cent of chief executive officers working for ASX200 organisations have an Anglo-Celtic background. About 18% have a European background, less than 5% have a non-European background.

Less than 5% of the placements I have made in Australia have been candidates who aren’t white Australian or European, whereas over 20% of the Australian population doesn’t fall into this category* (*the other 20% of the population is made up of Aboriginal / Torres Islanders, Asian, and other ethnic backgrounds)

These findings have raised the uncomfortable fact for me that while the #pressforprogress campaign is for gender parity, it seems women aren’t equal with each other either. And although there are diversity and inclusion strategies in place, when you look at the raw data it begs the question – are these strategies being adhered to?

I think there is so more to be done so women of any ethnic background will be on an equal footing, with equal power to #pressforprogress.

It would be amazing to see more businesses pushing for both ethnic and gender parity. When I meet with clients I often ask about their diversity and inclusion strategies, but to create true equality we need to start asking how things would look if our business leaders integrated their own inclusion rider when bringing talent into their teams.

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Why It Would Be Great To …

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