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Week of November 7th, 2016




Welcome to our weekly news, research & resources round-up; where consultant Hannah E. Lawson shares the latest collection of news relevant to gender, diversity & inclusion in Australia and the World.


Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter – Harvard Business Review 

Striving to increase workplace diversity is not an empty slogan — it is a good business decision. In recent years, a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: nonhomogeneous teams are simply smarter. Working with people who are different from you may challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance. Read More

69 Public Service No-Votes but Women are the Real Losers – Canberra Times

Public servants have rejected the Coalition’s tough industrial relations rules 69 times since 2014, as a Senate committee prepares to investigate the three-year bargaining saga. On Tuesday, public servants at the Fair Work Commission voted by a margin of 67 per cent to reject a deal, taking the total number of rejected proposals to 69. But women working in the Australian public service have emerged as the big losers, according to Canberra-based workplace academics. In their submission to the committee, University of NSW workplace academics Sue Williamson and Michael O’Donnell say they are worried that the bargaining policy’s rough edges were being felt most keenly by the public service’s women. Read More

Mindfulness Works but Only If You Work at It – Harvard Business Review 

Mindfulness — a way of paying attention with care and discernment to yourself, others, and the world around you — has been much researched. But although evidence from clinical contexts suggests that mindfulness provides many benefits, few studies have been conducted with business leaders. This means that basic questions have remained unanswered. For example, does mindfulness training actually improve leadership capacities? If it does, how? And how much effort do you need to make to achieve results? A recent study shows that mindfulness training and sustained practice produces statistically significant improvements in three capacities that are important for successful leadership in the 21st century: resilience, the capacity for collaboration, and the ability to lead in complex conditions. The same research shows that leaders who practiced the formal mindfulness exercises for more than 10 minutes per day fared much better on our key measures than those who didn’t practice much or who relied on the informal practices alone. Read More

Network of Possibility launches in Canberra, uniting women who want ‘to give’ – Canberra Times

Dr Kim Vella used to hate networking – with a passion. “As soon as I entered the room I’d be descended upon,” she said. “It was a room full of people just wanting to sell, sell, sell.” So Kim invented a different kind of network: one that allows people to give instead. The Network of Possibility officially launches in Canberra on Wednesday night and is a new initiative designed to bring together community-minded Canberra professionals through a series of formal and informal fundraising events. The Network’s first charity of choice is the Tara Costigan Foundation (TCF), and all proceeds from a silent auction at Wednesday’s night’s launch will go toward TCF’s work to eliminate violence against women and children. Read More

Push to weaken Racial Discrimination Act opposed by ethnic and religious groups – The Guardian 

Ethnic, religious and racial minority groups have rallied against a renewed push by conservatives to water down the Racial Discrimination Act. Jewish, Muslim, Indigenous and Arab organisations, among others, say they are “deeply concerned” that changes to section 18C of the act will send a signal that racism is acceptable in Australia. Many government MPs remain concerned the renewed debate around the RDA will provoke a political backlash in ethnic and religious communities. The expression of opposition from communities comes two days after the Turnbull government announced a new parliamentary inquiry into freedom of speech. Read more

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