Beauty in Difference: Diversity Award brings out best

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With just a week left to nominate an individual or organisation for the 2016 Australian Centre for Leadership for Women’s 2016 Diversity Award, now is a great time to highlight some of the inspiring organisations that are sponsoring our program this year. We took the time to speak with five of our sponsors about why they support the awards, and their resounding belief in our shared goals shone through.

Ernest & Young, a global organization committed to building a better working world, summed up diversity as being about everyone’s differences. “Every one of us is different, and at Ernest & Young they value and respect individual differences.” They understand that making sure that all of their people’s voices are heard and valued not only helps attract and retain the best people, but it also helps them deliver better approaches for their clients and their organisation. Achieving gender equity is one of EY’s key focus areas, in line with the aspirations of many of their clients making it a straightforward decision to sponsor the Diversity Award.

The NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) works with and for people experiencing poverty and disadvantages to see positive changes in the community. This year NCOSS is focused on its A New Year for Women campaign that will shape an Action for Women Plan to improve opportunities and outcomes for women. NCOSS recognises the huge benefits that would flow to our communities as a whole if more women from diverse backgrounds held leadership positions across the world and more particularly in the communities they serve.

NCOSS has said they supported the Diversity Award because they want to recognise and celebrate the initiatives, organisations and individuals that are doing effective work in this space and want to be a part of encouraging more of this kind of work across the board. 

Settlement Services International (SSI) works with culturally diverse individuals, families and communities to strengthen the contribution they make to the social cohesion of Australian society. Through this work at the community level, every day they see diversity strengthened and harnessed.

SSI says they are sponsoring the Diversity Award because what they seek to do has direct relevance to SSI’s mission and values. They add, “We are especially interested in the contributions of women who are often invisible in the broader societal context. We know the important work of many people and organisations in ensuring that diversity is valued and seen as a positive dividend in Australia. We also know that these Awards put a spotlight on this work and seek to celebrate and affirm it.”

Playgroup NSW is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated supporting families and strengthening local communities through bringing playgroups together. Their network of volunteers across NSW are from a wide range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as are many of their playgroups. The work of these volunteers adds tremendous value to their organisation and helps to create an inclusive environment and enables all children to have fantastic play experiences.

Playgroup NSW said they supported the focus of the ACLW Diversity Award because they reach out to women everywhere and particularly engage women who might not otherwise be recognised for their fantastic contribution. The majority of Playgroup NSW’s leadership in communities is drawn from women and they’re particularly proud of the increasing number of women from diverse backgrounds who are taking on leadership roles in the community.  By sponsoring this Award they aim to acknowledge and encourage those women and women across NSW who provide this critical leadership in the community.

The Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC) is an organization based in Northern NSW that works to achieve social justice, fairness and inclusion. Their workforce is 86% female and 5.2% identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and they’re proud to support and retain staff by ensuring flexibility with working conditions by offering things like time in lieu, part time and job sharing positions.

The NRSDC supports the Diversity Award because within all of us there is an inherent desire to be a meaningful part of society and to feel included. “The ACLW Diversity Award recognises those organisations and individuals who tread the path toward greater inclusion and diversity in our workplaces and communities, helping people to feel valued, to feel safe and to excel regardless of gender, race or creed.” As a regional employer, they’re proud to support the Award for an individual or organisation who empowers women in rural, remote or regional Australia to live their potential and realise their greatness.

Aon Corporation is our second international sponsor; they are a leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and human capital consulting and outsourcing. They provide an environment that nurtures personal and professional growth and have developed their Women’s International Network (WIN) which has been a leading factor in making Aon a destination of choice for high-quality professionals.

They support the Diversity Award as inclusion is the foundation on which Aon has built a world-class global organisation and it underpins their vision as a firm – to empower economic and human possibility for their clients, communities and colleagues.

These are just some of our sponsors, but as you can see each of them make their own contributions to improving diversity in their own, and other, organisations and we are grateful for their support. It’s through our shared commitments that we will bring about change and help to empower women, particularly those from marginalised groups.

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