Counting Culture 2021: Alongside the University of Sydney, we have developed a standardised approach for defining, measuring, and reporting on workforce cultural diversity in a respectful, accurate and inclusive way. Explore the new research now >

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New research: Counting Culture 2021

Read transcript

Edward Wong, ASIC (00:01):

Hi, my name is Edward and I'm currently working with ASIC's Strategic Intelligence Team. For clarity, I am three quarters, Chinese, one-eighth English and one-eighth Welsh. Yes, it gets confusing at times.

Edward Wong, ASIC (00:16):

As an Australian citizen who grew up in Malaysia for 15 years, I have sometimes been asked by my fellow Australians, whether I am an ethnic Malay or a Muslim.

Kumi de Silva, University of Sydney (00:42):

An assumption about my cultural background that amuses me the most is when people think that I must have a natural, interest in cricket, but not in any other sport

Edward Wong, ASIC (00:53):

Whilst assumptions have been made. I believe most of these are made out of curiosity then maliciously.

Dr Dimitria Groutsis, University of Sydney (01:07):

There's alot of confusion out there as to how you define cultural diversity. And as a result of that, how you measure cultural diversity. So it's really difficult to do well. And this is why we've come up with our standard measures. The first one looks at cultural background, the second one country of birth, the third one, in addition to English, what conversations can you have in about many, many different things in another language,

Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council Australia (01:35):

If businesses don't count culture, then they miss out on understanding how diverse or not their workplaces are. They miss out on the extraordinary skillset that people who have culturally diverse identities might bring to the workforce. Their different ways of thinking, which have been informed by their unique lived experience. Potentially their language skills, their other skills in cultural capability. All of these highly valued skills are things that organisations may not be able to tap into if they don't know it's there. And indeed it might even be missing. And you don't know that unless you count culture.

Kumi de Silva, University of Sydney (02:24):

I feel that most often I'm given opportunities to contribute from the perspective of a culturally diverse employee, but not from my professional field of expertise. So there's this feeling that I have to achieve more without the same opportunities,

Edward Wong, ASIC (02:45):

Assumptions can sometimes serve as a catalyst for interesting conversations that can lead to greater multicultural appreciation at the workplace. I believe that the workplace operates in a meritocracy at ASIC and people generally adhere to principles of mutual respect for the different cultures and beliefs of their fellow colleagues.

Dr Dimitria Groutsis, University of Sydney (03:10):

Finally, our key takeaway is that we need to go beyond, country of birth as a measure. It's a really blunt measure, even though it's an objective measure and we can benchmark it against the Australian Bureau of Statistics measures, it is a blunt instrument and cultural diversity goes beyond that.

Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council Australia (03:32):

My hope for this project is that organisations will be inspired to count culture because they have a reliable and standardised method for doing that, which is grounded in evidence, which is grounded in a process that was very, very effective.

Edward Wong, ASIC (03:54):

Thank you very much.

Edward Wong, ASIC (00:01):

Hi, my name is Edward and I'm currently working with ASIC's Strategic Intelligence Team. For clarity, I am three quarters, Chinese, one-eighth English and one-eighth Welsh. Yes, it gets confusing at times.

Edward Wong, ASIC (00:16):

As an Australian citizen who grew up in Malaysia for 15 years, I have sometimes been asked by my fellow Australians, whether I am an ethnic Malay or a Muslim.

Kumi de Silva, University of Sydney (00:42):

An assumption about my cultural background that amuses me the most is when people think that I must have a natural, interest in cricket, but not in any other sport

Edward Wong, ASIC (00:53):

Whilst assumptions have been made. I believe most of these are made out of curiosity then maliciously.

Dr Dimitria Groutsis, University of Sydney (01:07):

There's alot of confusion out there as to how you define cultural diversity. And as a result of that, how you measure cultural diversity. So it's really difficult to do well. And this is why we've come up with our standard measures. The first one looks at cultural background, the second one country of birth, the third one, in addition to English, what conversations can you have in about many, many different things in another language,

Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council Australia (01:35):

If businesses don't count culture, then they miss out on understanding how diverse or not their workplaces are. They miss out on the extraordinary skillset that people who have culturally diverse identities might bring to the workforce. Their different ways of thinking, which have been informed by their unique lived experience. Potentially their language skills, their other skills in cultural capability. All of these highly valued skills are things that organisations may not be able to tap into if they don't know it's there. And indeed it might even be missing. And you don't know that unless you count culture.

Kumi de Silva, University of Sydney (02:24):

I feel that most often I'm given opportunities to contribute from the perspective of a culturally diverse employee, but not from my professional field of expertise. So there's this feeling that I have to achieve more without the same opportunities,

Edward Wong, ASIC (02:45):

Assumptions can sometimes serve as a catalyst for interesting conversations that can lead to greater multicultural appreciation at the workplace. I believe that the workplace operates in a meritocracy at ASIC and people generally adhere to principles of mutual respect for the different cultures and beliefs of their fellow colleagues.

Dr Dimitria Groutsis, University of Sydney (03:10):

Finally, our key takeaway is that we need to go beyond, country of birth as a measure. It's a really blunt measure, even though it's an objective measure and we can benchmark it against the Australian Bureau of Statistics measures, it is a blunt instrument and cultural diversity goes beyond that.

Lisa Annese, CEO of Diversity Council Australia (03:32):

My hope for this project is that organisations will be inspired to count culture because they have a reliable and standardised method for doing that, which is grounded in evidence, which is grounded in a process that was very, very effective.

Edward Wong, ASIC (03:54):

Thank you very much.

 

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