AHRI Forum – How Effective Diversity Programs Supercharge Workplace Wellbeing Wrap-up

AHRI Forum – How Effective Diversity Programs Supercharge Workplace Wellbeing Wrap-up

In February our AHRI Safety & Wellbeing Network joined forces with AHRI’s Diversity & Inclusion Network to host a forum on “How to deploy effective diversity programs to supercharge workplace wellbeing” at Taronga Zoo’s new Institute for Science & Learning.

Three speakers tackled the topic from interesting perspectives:

  • ASX20-listed Woolworths Group: Kevin Figueiredo, General Manager Group Safety, Health and Wellbeing
  • ASX20-listed Westpac: Sam Turner, former Head of Inclusion & Diversity
  • Mid-size government organisation Taronga Zoo: Bettina Sammut, People & Culture Director

Each speaker provided attendees practical advice on how to effect change in this area.


  • ‘I am here’ campaign – internal campaign to reduce mental health stigma across the business by increasing the courage and confidence of people at Woolies that if someone came to you and said they weren’t feeling ok, you’d know what to do
  • ‘I am here’ is built around three key areas:
    1. Show you care
    2. Ask the right questions
    3. Call for help
  • Woolworths is building a movement to make change happen and wants its people to know “It’s okay not to feel okay; it’s absolutely ok to ask for help.”


  • Reflection of a relatively mature organisation that focuses on inclusion first, because without being inclusive it doesn’t matter how diverse your organisation is, they will not feel part of it
  • Build your inclusion and diversity strategy off your organisation’s vision and strategy for health and wellbeing
  • If you have employee network groups, consider how to support their interests and engage them as influencers to their peers

Taronga Zoo:

  • As a state government organisation, aim to tailor standardised government initiatives for your own organisational context
  • Indigenous employment is a key area of interest, so flexibility and understanding around cultural commitments is important
  • Where possible put together a safe network for diversity, by pairing team members rather than spreading across multiple groups

Scott Paine, AHRI Network Convenor, summarised the insights harnessing diversity to boost workplace wellbeing:

  1. When starting out on your organisational diversity & inclusion journey don’t try tackle everything at once
  2. Consider the data you already capture and how this can be used to analyse diversity, identify issues and resolve them through meaningful wellbeing activities
  3. When people feel included (i.e. psychologically safe) they bring their whole self to work, which contributes to business outcomes
  4. Diversity fatigue is the same as change fatigue. Make the effort to understand why the resistance occurs and address through change management techniques
  5. Determine how you can use existing networks, channels and communication assets to boost awareness and change attitudes and behaviours within your organisation and tap into existing reporting structures to measure effectiveness


If you are interested in more information on how to build inclusion and diversity measures into your workplace wellbeing programs send me an email at [email protected].