Leadership and Diversity Thinking

Photograph of people sitting at a table - "Diversity of thought is seen as an essential tool for innovation."

Progressing diversity thinking - from Human Resources to Leadership

The Office of Ethnic Affairs is pleased to be part of a new working group drawing together New Zealand’s corporate leaders. Diverse NZ Inc. is a collaboration of some of this country’s biggest and brightest business minds, and the platform has been formed to galvanise businesses to harness the economic benefit, business gain and GDP uplift that results from diverse leadership and diversity of thought.

However, this is not ‘diversity’ as it has traditionally been understood. Diversity and inclusion have been key concepts in business and organisational development for some time now, but while they have traditionally been applied at the operational level, they are now being progressed into the leadership sphere.

The Diverse NZ inc. platform will work to amplify the diversity conversation amongst New Zealand’s business community and enable a new set of leaders — leaders who operate from a greater level of consciousness where diversity is no longer defined just by race or gender.

A comprehensive understanding of diversity encompasses the whole human experience — age, culture, education, personality, skills and life experiences. Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), the world’s largest international accountancy firm, is proud of their multifaceted approach to diversity.  

Diversity is seen as an essential tool for innovation and as a key element to achieve a cultural shift in an organisation. However, diversity for leaders also means being willing to abandon conventional management wisdom and learn what may even be called a new thought process: the thought process of global or intercultural competency. Ernst and Young, another of the ‘Big Four” accountancy firms provides a good take on the significance of intercultural or global competencies for our workplaces today, so that we can build a better future for tomorrow.

The Office of Ethnic Affairs has a team of intercultural advisors whose role is to provide advice, support and facilitate better intercultural understanding and action. For more information, contact Berlinda Chin, Intercultural Advisory Manager on
berlinda.chin@dia.govt.nz or 09 362 7968.