DIAN Professional Series - Highlight of the Month
>> This month, we hear from Symmetra's Heather Price who is running the DIAN Professional Series session ‘FlexAgility’ on 30 March, 2016 in Hong Kong. Click here for more details and to register for this workshop >>
Which workshop have you chosen to be a part of the DIAN Professional Series and why?
I have chosen to run a workshop on FlexAgility because it has become clear to me that flexible working is dependent on so much more than a cutting edge policy. It has become smart business strategy and requires a total shift in mindset amongst leaders who, faced with complexity and ambiguity as a constant in the modern day workplace, require the ability to be agile and flexible in their thinking and approach if they are to succeed.
What do you think participants will gain from attending your session?
This session will address head, heart and hands…the mindset required to position leaders for success, the empirical evidence that supports the need for FlexAgility and the practical skills required to get there.
What makes this session different from other workshops?
The exciting and innovative interactive methodologies used by Symmetra which stimulate, challenge and engage participants, as well as the thought leadership and empirical evidence based approach . These are what clients across the globe say differentiates our approach from all others and makes our service offerings world class.
Why are you passionate about diversity and inclusion?
Having spent my formative years in a society marked by institutionalised racism (Apartheid, South Africa) I entered adulthood with a strong desire to fight for the underdog and ensure that everyone in society has a fair go, an opportunity to achieve whatever they set out to do. The unfortunate reality is that even though South Africa was an extreme case in point, it is apparent that in most societies across the globe discrimination and exclusion is still a common occurrence. And whilst there is an ever diminishing number of cases of overt discrimination in the workplace, it has not disappeared, it has just gone underground- hence the pressing need to address both systemic and unconscious bias in the modern workplace today.
What is your experience in Asia?
Though I have been a D&I consultant for more than 20 years, since relocating to Sydney I have worked for the last 12 years for a large number of multinationals across the globe, many of which operate in Asia, to help embed an inclusive workplace culture. This has involved consulting on D&I strategy, conducting training workshops from the C suite to supervisory level to build inclusive leadership capability and coaching Heads of Business and Directors on bias, flexible working and inclusion in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, South Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.
What do you love most about this work in Asia?
The diversity in and of itself within Asia provides a very rich context and challenge - dispelling the myth, so often held in the West, that there is one silver bullet approach for D&I work in Asia!
In addition I find the challenge to adapt ones approach from countries in Asia which are on the starting block on their D&I journey to those which are far more advanced in their journey is both fascinating and rewarding.
When it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion, what area of your work are you most proud?
Commonwealth Bank of Australia won the Global catalyst award in 2012 and attributed its major traction in its gender agenda to Symmetra’s Unconscious Bias program which had been rolled out to 405 of its executives across the globe!
Symmetra’s unconscious bias program, ‘A Conscious Approach to Better Decision Making’ which we launched with CBA in 2011, has won international recognition now and has impacted on thousands of executives across the globe.
Are you/have you worked/working on anything that we can tell our members about?
Symmetra has spent the last two years designing an exciting new 360 assessment tool called the Inclusion leadership Index (ILI). This measures how inclusive the behaviour of a leader is on 7 constructs. It has now been launched and is being used by organisations in Asia and Australia to measure and build capability on inclusivity (combined with inclusive leadership coaching). It is considered to be a unique and immensely valuable tool, especially by those organisations who have established diversity and inclusion as a KPI and have been frustrated to date that all they have been measuring is diversity!
We have also just released a dynamic and innovative online learning platform for D&I, The E-Challenge.
This provides a library of 10 minute Learning Bites on Diversity of thought, Innoclusion, Unconscious Bias, Psychological safety and FlexAgility. Using a game methodology it audits perceptions of employees and leaders on a wide range of diversity issues as they “play and learn”.
This data is then used by organisations to inform their ongoing D&I strategy.