When a group of people come together, with a shared commitment to driving conscious and strategic change, you know you’re in for something special. Brilliant Women Global’s latest event, hosted in partnership with Conscious Capitalism Australia and New Zealand, was no exception.
Moderated by Brilliant Women Global Ambassador, Tiffany Cherry, a world-class panel of experts led a thoughtful discussion on best practices for ethical, inclusive and conscious leadership. What emerged was a trait above all else as the key to driving the inclusion and diversity agenda forward: courage.
Deriving from an old French word with Latin origins, ‘corage’, meaning ‘heart’, courage today has come to mean the ability and strength to persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. We all have the capacity to be courageous in our workplaces and in our lives. So, how do we step up and lead consciously with courage towards a more sustainable, equitable and flourishing future?
It starts with the power of one
Greater inclusion starts with you – the message shared by Annabelle Williams OAM, Vice President of the Australian Paralympic Committee, lawyer, and Chair of the Athletes’ Commission. Ms WiIlliams spoke movingly about growing up with a visible disability and her career as a Paralympian. From banks to boardrooms, she has seen time and again how our society continues to underestimate people with disabilities. Reminding us all that we have the power to act with courage and effect change; greater inclusion and diversity in the workplace can start with a simple question: How can I best support you?
Embracing conscious culture
The courage to create workplaces more inclusive of diversity, in all its forms, helps businesses and leaders create a more conscious culture. This is one of the four central tenets of the conscious capitalism movement, urging people and organisations to look beyond profits and work towards creating businesses that drive better outcomes for society.
Businesses and leaders can no longer afford to focus solely on maximising profits and shareholder value without considering diversity and inclusion. Unconscious capitalism is no longer going to be sustainable. To be sustainable and relevant, leaders and businesses must be courageous enough to make inclusion and diversity integral to their operations. This was the resonating message from Sujata Raman, Regional MD of Australia and Asia-Pacific of global luxury adventure company, Abercrombie & Kent. Ms Raman explained that: “Consumers are not only looking for products and services that reflect their values, they are demanding business step up with courage to meet these higher standards.”
Living our values
To grow and evolve as leaders, as organisations and as a society requires great courage. Dr Dimity Podger works with leaders and organisations to create high performing cultures and she believes that what many conscious leaders have in common is a commitment to growth and evolution, and a willingness to bring their whole selves to work. The idea that businesses can be soulful places, where wholeness is welcomed, people are embraced for all that they are, and human potential is unlocked is the kind of world we want to live in.
Diversity and Inclusion is not just a ‘good idea’
Diversity and inclusion is beyond the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do, according to our panellist and resident economist Paulo Pinto. A Research Fellow at the Institute for Economics and Peace, a world-leading think tank with its Head Office in Sydney, Mr Pinto shared compelling research finding greater equality and inclusivity to be borne out by data as the key to peaceful and prosperous societies. Driving the diversity and inclusion agenda forward is not just a ‘good idea’ or ‘the right thing to do’, it is necessary for the sustainability and flourishing of business and society.
Now is the time to grow and evolve into the conscious leader you want to be. Lead forth with courage and help drive greater inclusion and diversity in your workplace and the world.
This event recap for Brilliant Women Global’s ‘Leading with Conscious Capitalism: ethical and purpose driven practices’ was written by Carmen Hawker, a digital communications specialist with a decade of experience working for greater gender equality, inclusion and diversity in Australian workplaces. Passionate about harnessing the power of business for good, Carmen supports people and organisations to tell their stories better and build purpose-driven communities.