From gaining different perspectives that bring better results and creativity to enhancing employee engagement and brand reputation, we are all clear on the benefits of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace for any given company. What I would like to share is some of the work Amcor has done in Asia Pacific since the launch of our D&I program two years ago (and some learnings) and hope it inspires more companies to begin your D&I journey.
Diversity and inclusion are qualities represented in “Being Amcor,” which defines who we are as a company, what is most important, what success looks like in the eyes of our stakeholders, and the capabilities that enable us to achieve our aspirations.
This International Women’s Day marks two years since we first launched our D&I program in Asia Pacific. In this time, we have not only seen improved results in our engagement levels, better business outcomes but also recognition by our global leadership when they presented our D&I team with a global award.
We started with a clear mission statement: “To foster an environment where everyone feels included, valued and encouraged to perform at our best; where success is attainable regardless of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”
By organizing our D&I program under three distinct pillars, we were able to allocate resources to address issues that we identified through surveys and focus groups:
• Talent process and policy changes to identify and progress qualified women candidates in recruitment and succession planning
• Women’s mentoring program facilitated by an external partner which was very well received and has since been extended to reach even more women
• Speaker series featuring women leaders that attracted high participation rates amongst our co-workers
• Unconscious bias training across all levels of the organization to create awareness of where and how bias can occur and enabling our co-workers with the language and tools to address the situation
• Meeting norms are being established to create a more inclusive meeting culture
• Review of flexible working policies to enable our people to better manage their time
• Wellness programs from nutrition talks, a healthy cooking competition, steps challenge and managing mental health to encourage employees to live healthier and more balanced lives
“By organizing our D&I program under three distinct pillars, we were able to allocate resources to address issues that we identified through surveys and focus groups.”
While we are still in the early stages of our D&I journey, we have learned a lot so here are some tips for anyone planning to kickstart your D&I program:
1. Leaders must be invested in the program, and not just providing the budget to run programs but to invest their time to get involved. Each of our pillars is led by a member of our senior leadership team and many leaders are also involved as mentors.
2. Learning from others was crucial to our progress. We invited speakers from companies who have more mature D&I programs to share their learnings with our D&I and a wider audience.
3. Listening to our people was the genesis of our program. Through surveys and focus groups, we were able to identify the areas in which we could make the most impact.
4. Finding the right partners helped the successful roll-out of our programs. Take the time and effort to identify and evaluate vendors who have the experience and know-how to guide you.
5. Reaching our grassroots is the true measure of success of any program. Our D&I program was run by a team of engaged and enthusiastic volunteers from across the organization who drove engagement and participation across all levels and geographies.
At Amcor, we continue to learn as we progress on our D&I journey, and we remain committed to providing an inclusive environment that empowers us to achieve our full potential. If you have not done so, I would highly encourage you to start advocating in your organization to build a more inclusive and better place to work.