1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a mum, wife, sister, auntie and love all things outdoors, including running and photography. I am an Author and Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Specialist at EVERYDAY INCLUSION. My research specialises in Social Analysis on Race, Social Inequalities and Anti-Racism. As a Black African-Australian woman, I bring well-grounded knowledge and experience of the impacts presented in race and gender identities. With over thirty years of experience in Project Management, Employment Services, Professional Mentorship and Business Coaching, I can engage, negotiate and build worthwhile relationships across diversity, clients and demographics. I provide proactive, relevant and impactful training frameworks tailored to your business for a safe, productive and sustainable future.
2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?
In my early Thirties, I had a manager, Ro (short for Rosemary), who understood inclusion better than most people today. As a Black woman in her team, I never felt I wasn’t a part of her team, physically or emotionally. As a leader, she made an effort to listen and hear. She treated everyone with respect. She was transparent and created genuine access and opportunities for everyone to grow and develop equitably. She also had your back no matter what. If something went wrong, she would help you learn and correct it without shame or blame, which gave me the confidence to try things!
Whenever there was a win, I vividly remember her encouraging us to celebrate openly! I loved that.
For me, it was her fairness that I cherished the most because I knew without a doubt in my mind that if I put in the effort, she would notice it, appreciate it and acknowledge it. That was important to me.
The other is my mum, who taught me about community service and having a heart to LOVE no matter what. Because of this, I have enjoyed being involved in many community endeavours. I have loved them all and gained many friendships as a result.
3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?
All Women in leadership are influential because it signals possibilities for others to follow. Research tells us women have a strong flare in communication, which is a great asset in building business in our globalised world. Therefore, female leaders can utilise this power to enhance and build meaningful conversations across genders, ages, demographics and cross-culturally.
4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?
The work environment comprises many individuals with diverse and unique skills, values, backgrounds and experiences. Inclusion recognises the capability to create cohesion amongst the diversity presented in the people for business performance. Therefore, it is businesses’ responsibility to provide an environment where all employees have fair access to opportunities available at work and are not judged or referenced by gender, age, religion, race, sexuality, or ableism.
5. Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?
DEI Specialist, I find that Equity is the missing piece in DEI work. Many DEI Consultants don’t seem to understand Equity for them to support businesses incorporate its principles into DEI work. I have personally experienced racism in all workplaces. But because of a lack of understanding of what racism is and what is it doing in systems, it makes it difficult to achieve the goals of DEI. Racism creates a lack of Equity in society, yet people still consider racism a relational problem rather than a system issue; this is what sets my business apart from the rest. Using my lived experiences and research, I can support businesses to make Equity possible for their business.
Equity is a System issue. So, once you understand how Equity is in systems and what it is doing and how it perpetuates negative outcomes, you can begin to gain the skills to dismantle it. Understanding the specificities of Equity will equip you with the right tools to do something about it.