Launching the Directing Change Scholarship
1 in 5 people in Australia have a disability, however, this number is far from represented at Executive and Board level positions.
Inclusion, diversity and equity cannot be met if people with disability are not part of decision making across business. Without Board and Executive representation, businesses are not making informed decisions with true market representation.
Low awareness, confidence and capability of Directors to welcome and include people with disability on Boards; along with less opportunities for leaders with disability to access learning and networking; are the main cause of this discrepancy.
The Australian Network on Disability and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) are partnering to provide an active solution to remove the barriers people with disability face.
This historic opportunity will support leaders with disability to increase their governance knowledge and access to board positions.
The expertise of the two organisations will complement each other to provide a comprehensive and integrated program through actions and learnings of both leaders with disability and board directors.
Australian Network on Disability and Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) are offering 15 full-fee scholarships to undertake either the Foundations of Directorship program or the Company Directors Course at AICD. Plus 8 months of mentoring with an Australian business leader to help participates maximise their board career opportunities.
Leaders with disability can apply from 17 January – 13 February 2022. Thanks to our delivery partner, the Australian Scholarship Foundation who are administering the scholarship application and process.
Building disability confident board members
Australian Network on Disability will also build the awareness and disability confidence of Australian board directors, providing them the capability to welcome people with disability.
Australian Network on Disability have successfully conducted mentoring programs between people with disability and Australian businesses for nine years. Mentors from Australian businesses have experienced a 42% increase in disability confidence from similar programs.
Directors wishing to join the mentoring program can apply from 7 February – 11 March 2022. Find out more information about becoming a mentor.
Australian Network on Disability and AICD are excited to launch this program and start delivering change to Australian Boards in the future.
The power of ERG’s amplified as they come together
It’s one of the proudest achievements of 2021 for Australian Network on Disability.
In partnership with PurpleSpace, we brought together Employee Resource Group (ERG) Chairpersons from across our network to form a Networkology Advisory Committee. The purpose of the project was to understand the needs of Australian ERG’s and their future needs.
The outputs of the project included learnings around:
- how to develop a strategy for ERG’s that is easily communicated and understood across the organisations in the form of a storyboard
- how to partner with Executive Sponsors and Disability Champions.
In completing this pilot project, we built up a strong community of ERG chairs all working towards one common goal: to create more accessible and inclusive workplaces for all.
The Networkology Advisory Committee shared their experiences, expertise and insights with one another to drive change across the business landscape.
Brady March, Representative of Telstra’s ERG and Laura Moller, Coles ERG Co-Chair, were two of the members who made up the powerhouse committee.
I found immense value in hearing the experiences of others around the challenges, wins, frustrations and goals,” says Brady.
“Being connected to other people living and working with disability, as well as allies who are making their own workplaces more accessible and inclusive – gave me a real sense I’m not alone in this.
The community has been invaluable – but Brady has also come away from the project with actionable changes that he’s eager to implement in the organisation.
I’ll be working with the co-chairs of our ERG to look at how we can put together a program to change our stakeholder engagement – and how we can implement company-wide awareness programs focused on accessibility.
Laura Moller has also seen actionable changes that came out of the committee, having recently completed the Coles storyboard.
What is the storyboard?
The storyboard is a snapshot of where an ERG is at during a particular point in time. It includes information about the group, useful statistics and stories of both successes and challenges. It’s a useful tool that can onboard valuable stakeholders and explain what an ERG is about.
And, as an added bonus, the storyboard can measure and track the progress of an ERG overtime, looking at the value and impact that an ERG has made.
Laura Moller is eager to see how this will play out, with the impending release of the Coles’ storyboard.
We plan to use it to show some of our key stakeholders the story of ColesAbility. We’ll use the storyboard as a benchmark as well, since it has important figures that we’re tracking around engagement in the network and what we’ve done.
Laura also plans to use the storyboard as a reference document for new stakeholders to understand the background of the ERG. And Laura believes that the storyboard has already made an impact, even before launch.
The storyboard helps to strengthen our strategy – seeing everything pulled together into one document makes it clear on what we’re doing and what we’re aiming to achieve.
It’s also a communication tool which can help improve the understanding of senior leaders.
Laura encourages organisations to create their own storyboard.
Having that document to reference back to and guide your network is invaluable. It also has the benefit of energising and encouraging team members who are part of the network – because it tells their story.
To build out the Coles storyboard, Laura gathered key pieces of information including:
- background information about Coles as a business
- structure of the ERG
- how often the ERG meets and format of meetings
- the purpose and plan of the ERG
- statistics about the network and membership
- success stories
- future goals.
Although it seems like a lot, Laura encourages others to not be intimidated when creating their own.
Remember, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Make it work for you – so think about the purpose behind your network and the story you want to tell.
Although the Networkology Advisory Committee pilot has finished – there is still more to come out of this exciting partnership.
Stay tuned for more details.
Share your own ERG story
If you would like to learn more around storytelling and sharing information for Employee Resource Groups, view PurpleSpace’s Purple Stories publication.
Australian Network on Disability would like to extend a special thank you to all of the organisations who sat on the Advisory Committee including: Victorian Enablers Network, Australia Post, Suncorp Australia, Telstra, Coles Group, Federal Attorney-General’s Department, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, Reserve Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank, NSW Department of Education and Training, Melbourne Water and IBM.
We would also like to extend our greatest thanks to Kate Nash, Brendan Roach and Kirstie Wilson at PurpleSpace.
Employer guide: Campaigns and awareness days for inclusion of people with disability at work
It’s the new year, and with it brings a new opportunity to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Campaigns and awareness days can mean something different to each person. For some, it has the power to build a sense of connection and belonging, to others it can mean educating and increasing understanding, or creating awareness and visibility around the fight for equality, representation, and rights.
Campaigns and awareness days relating to the inclusion of people with disability are used by many organisations to inspire understanding and engagement in the workplace. By linking back to your organisation’s wider goals and values, awareness days can help you promote a culture of inclusion and demonstrate your commitment to a workplace that is accessible, safe and supports everyone to reach their full potential.
We have created a guide of key global and national campaigns and awareness days in 2022 to help you plan for the year ahead. The growing number of campaigns and awareness days can be overwhelming, so we have provided the broadest and most encompassing days that support the inclusion of people with disability at work, in addition to recognising and supporting the importance of intersectionality (the crossover that a person may experience identifying with one than one marginalised community).
There are so many more amazing campaigns and awareness days, especially those recognising individual disabilities, we wish all causes well in their endeavours.
- 28 April – World Day for Safety and Health at Work
- 19 May – Global Accessibility Awareness Day
- 3-10 July – NAIDOC week
- 26 August – Wear it Purple Day
- 8 September – R U OK Day
- 10 October – World Mental Health Day