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Accessibility and inclusion for all

Businesses have a responsibility to be as inclusive as possible, whether that means ensuring accessibility through the design and usability of digital products, having accessible hiring practices, or simply making inclusion part of broader internal thought leadership. It also makes good business sense!

Resources to help your business

Is your business a place where everyone feels welcome? Use these resources to inform and guide innovative ways to address accessibility, diversity and inclusivity in your workplace.


What is inclusion?

Inclusion is the practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources to people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised, but equal access is not always enough.

True inclusion requires the recognition that some individuals have different needs, and that these needs won’t be met within systems that assume everyone is the same.

Why Inclusion matters

  • 65% of transgender diverse individuals say knowing they are in a supportive workplace positively impacts their sense of inclusion and belonging
  • Increases how engaged (37.5%) and productive (24%) they are
  • Improves their mental health and wellbeing by nearly 77%

For more information:

All about allyship

What is an ally?

An ally is often defined as someone who is not a member of a marginalised group but wants to support and take action to help others in that group. Allyship in the workplace is crucial for inclusion and equality.

Learn. Listen. Advocate.

Avoid remaining silent: remaining silent during difficult events can negatively impact employee wellbeing. It’s best to acknowledge the situation, express concern and offer support. Consider whether staying neutral is an inclusive approach, or if it might make people feel marginalised.

Empathise and acknowledge the impact: It is important to show humanity and acknowledge the negative impact and emotional toll events can have on someone’s wellbeing. Allow space for people to discuss the issue should they choose to. Heartfelt thoughts can be extended to any colleagues and their families directly affected, and to communities more broadly.

Keep safety and wellbeing top of mind: Being exposed to images and stories of conflict, violence or traumatic events in the media can negatively impact our mental health and wellbeing. Focus on messages to reinforce the importance of self-care and strategies to reduce anxiety, as well as support services available.

Provide support: Including access to an Employee Assistance Program or other support services, it is important to remind people of the range of supports available to them.

Encourage respectful conversations: Some issues are harder to talk about than others and have the potential to be divisive with a range of perspectives and opinions. Encourage people to respect each other’s views and differences of opinion and be considerate, thoughtful, and respectful. Sometimes it can be an opportunity to educate yourself on an issue more.

Inclusive language is effective language – it is respectful, accurate and relevant to all.

1. Context matters: Language that may be fine outside of work can be non-inclusive at work. Sometimes people can use terms about themselves or their friends that are not appropriate for others to use about someone in a work context.

2. Keep an open mind: Be open to changing what you have always thought is ‘normal, respectful and appropriate’ to say. You don’t have to be perfect – just be willing to learn.

3. If in doubt, ask: If you’re not sure what terminology someone prefers, just ask them! Ask the person or contact organisations which make up and represent given diversity groups.

4. Focus on the person: Focus on the person first, rather than the demographic group they belong to.  Only refer to an individuals age, cultural background, gender etc. if it is relevant.

5. Keep calm and respond: Sometimes our unconscious biases mean we can say things that exclude others – even when we do not intend to.


Show your support and help raise awareness

Evidence suggests that diversity in the workplace is beneficial to businesses, because it:

  • Promotes a shared experience and broader perspectives
  • Encourages innovation
  • Nurtures a more positive workplace and improves staff retention
  • Helps you understand customers
  • Gives opportunities to all

If you choose to support any of the following inclusive events within your team or the broader community, please send us a photo (business@mornpen.vic.gov.au) or tag #mpbusiness on your social posts.

 

Midsumma Pride

Parade, pride and party come together once a year in Melbourne’s iconic march celebrating solidarity in gender and sexuality diversity – 4 February 2024

IDAHOBIT DAY

International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination – 4 May 2024

Wear it Purple

Wear It Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people – 30 August 2024

International Women’s Day

Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity – 8 March 2024

16 Days of Activism

Respect Victoria’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence – 25 November – 10 December

Harmony week

A celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds – 21 March to 26 March

National Reconciliation Week

A time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements – 27 May to 3 June 2024

Commemorating Mabo Day

Mabo Day is marked annually on 3 June. It commemorates Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his successful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’.

NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth – 4 July to 11 July 2024

R U OK? Day

Empowering people to meaningfully connect and lend support – 12 September

Mental Health Day

Raising awareness of mental health issues around the world – 10 October

International Day of People with Disabilities

Making a commitment to create a world characterised by equal human rights – 3 December



Content reviewed and updated: December 2023

Accessibility Diversity and inclusion

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