At our Blue Sky seminars we like to hear people’s stories. There are no PowerPoint presentations, no gadgets or screens, just conversations. We share thoughts and ideas and ask questions of one another.  We like to keep the seminars small and informal and this month we had three amazing speakers who each offered different perspectives on diversity and inclusion.

Our topic this month was ‘Diversity and Inclusion’, but what does that mean?

Diversity is the range of human differences, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.

Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognised. An inclusive university promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practises respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members.

We welcomed three incredible guests to discuss how diversity and inclusion are important in our everyday work lives.

Our guests were:

Fezeela Raza – Formerly from Diversity Works and now the Principal Advisor, Diversity and Inclusion at Auckland Council

Rhonda Koroheke – Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Spark

Lisa Tonner – National HR Manager NZ Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety NZ

Our discussion was broad, interesting and fun. In particular we took a look at:

  • How do organisations measure the success of diversity and inclusion in relation to ROI?
  • How do diversity and inclusion influence organisational business outcomes?
  • What are some of the most pressing barriers organisations have to overcome regarding diversity and inclusion?

We received some great feedback following the session.

Karen Davies, Staff Development Manager of People and Organisational Development and Human Resources at The University of Auckland says:

“Thank you for the opportunity to attend such a thought provoking seminar this morning, I feel privileged to hear from such inspiring speakers on this topic.”

Police Senior Sergeant Rachel Dolheguy dropped us a line:

“Thanks you for the invitation and notes as follow up.I really enjoyed attending and listening to the speakers who were all authentic & amazing.”

Thank you for coming along to the session, for asking such good questions and engaging with our amazing guest speakers.

Image: Kathryn, Rhonda, Fezeela and Lisa