Difest Speaker Series

Headshot of Fiona MacDonald

Fiona MacDonald – D&I in Australia

Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Talent & Culture, ANZ (Australia)

Where do you see workplace diversity & inclusion in Australia heading in the next 5 years?

The answer largely depends on if and how Australian employers normalise flexible working in a post-COVID world. We’ve long talked about flexible working as a key driver and enabler of gender equality and COVID accelerated mainstreaming flexible working in a way we previously never imagined. Will employers continue to embrace flexible working or will they revert to their pre-COVID ways? Fortunately, flexible working has been a core part of ANZ’s workplace culture for some time. We’ve taken what we’ve learned from COVID to evolve how we work and our aim is to continue to build and maintain ANZ’s culture while giving more people the opportunity to work more flexibly and continue doing their best work.

Other key areas of diversity that continue to have increased focus in Australia, not just in the workplace but in society in general, are reconciliation and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Indigenous Australians) and gender-based violence and workplace harassment. It will be interesting to see if the recent heightened public debate on these topics translates into longer term social and workplace change.

As a leader in setting the D&I strategy across different markets, what are the top 3 tasks you had to perform to ensure diverse talents are aligned?

Listen, listen and listen. Listening is critical when it comes to diversity and inclusion, especially when you are working across 33 markets globally. When it comes to our enterprise approach to diversity and inclusion, we understand that cultural norms and community expectations differ across geographies. It is important to have the flexibility that allows different geographies to take a slightly different approach while having really clear and shared enterprise purpose, values and diversity and inclusion goals.