Diversity and inclusion are everyone’s responsibility…what can you do in your workplace?

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce for the Tasmanian forest industry can be successfully achieved with everyone working together. Yes, policies, procedures and plans are important in defining objectives, goals and measures. But each and every person in our industry can take small steps every day to help make workplaces more inclusive.

Do you understand what diversity and inclusion mean for your workplace? Why is it so important?

Mental health and diversity and inclusion are closely connected. How employees interact with each other in the workplace can have an impact on mental health. Everyone is different and learning about each other and recognising differences and bias can have a positive effect on everyone in the workplace.

Demonstrating kindness is one of the easiest and most effective things anyone can do in their workplace. Kindness doesn’t require big actions, it is often the little things practiced every day, such as smiling, that can make the greatest difference. Kindness can be contagious and can change the dynamics of a team and a workplace. Be collaborative and help someone in your workplace who may need assistance. Consider the feelings of others before you give an opinion or tell a joke. Be aware of your words and tone when communicating with others and be willing to educate those who may not always behave respectfully.

If you want to further involve yourself in diversity and inclusion in your workplace, there are opportunities to provide informal or formal support to your co-workers. You could be a sounding board for new ideas or become a mentor for new employees. Or even, become a champion of diversity within your workplace.

The Draft Diversity Action Plan (DAP), now been released for consultation provides a road map and tools to help the forest industry to become more inclusive and diverse. This is a change management plan and anyone interested in the forest industry or diversity and inclusion are encouraged to provide feedback on the Draft DAP. You can find and provide feedback on the Draft DAP at  Diversity Action Plan – Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network (tffpn.com.au).