When we ask our members what topics they would like to see in ODA events, one theme that often comes up is diversity and inclusion. For our March event, we explored this topic through stories and experiences.
Our guest, Ieta D’Costa is a radiation oncologist, and PhD candidate researching attitudes to indigenous Australians within our health system. Ieta’s work, and her own diverse background, created a great starting point for us to share our stories. We did this by answering the questions:
- What has influenced your worldview?
- How has bias, stereotype and prejudice affected your behaviour?
These are big questions, that led to interesting and insightful discussions, that I find days after the event I am still reflecting on.
We then shifted to a future focus and discussed how we can work to positively influence diversity and inclusion, both personally and professionally. For me, the key take outs were:
Personally, I can:
- Recognise my own privilege
- Be aware and open
- Build relationships with diverse groups
As an OD practitioner, I can work with organisations to:
- Recognise and acknowledge power structures
(Who derives advantage from the status quo?)
- Identify how held values support diversity
- Strive for diversity that reflects society
- Engage with the communities you are looking to include
- Develop formal structures and processes to ensure accountability
Distilling our conversation into eight dot points makes it feel simple, when I know it is complex and often slow moving. But I find that every conversation and reflection brings a little more clarity to what meaningful action looks like, and what the next steps are for me. I feel grateful to Ieta, and everyone in the group, for generously sharing their stories.