An inclusive team values each person’s individual differences and lived experiences.

As a people manager, make each of your people feel valued and able to bring their authentic self to work each day.

Use this list of 5 things you can start to do today for your team and organisation.

1.  Use inclusive language

Inclusive language is when you use words and terms that respect the diversity of people in your team.

It’s not the easiest thing to do if you’ve learnt to say one thing your whole life. But the point of being inclusive is to try.

One small change in the words you use can have a huge impact on the person it affects.

You can do things like:

  • Add your gender pronouns to your email signature
  • Ask people in your team “What kinds of inclusive language do you want me to use?”
  • Use gender-neutral pronouns in your writing

Find out more about:

2. Acknowledge intersectionality

Intersectionality is when different parts of a person’s identity may lead to a mix of discrimination and marginalisation.

For example, if a person in your team is a lesbian and African Australian, they may experience a mix of:

  • homophobia
  • racism
  • sexism

There’s no simple definition of how they may experience discrimination.

As a people manager, recognise this complexity.

Understand your team members have many dimensions to their identity and how those dimensions interact.

Read understanding intersectionality to find out more.

3. Recognise your biases

We all have biases based on our lived experiences.

When it comes to bias, there are 2 types:

  • Conscious bias, where you can see or know something is a bias and act to change it
  • Unconscious bias, where you don’t know you’re being biased and don’t know you need to act to change it

Your biases act as filters to the decisions you make.

Speak with the relevant team in your organisation for advice or training on biases.

Read the Queensland Government’s explainer on unconscious bias.

4. Recognise and celebrate diversity

Being inclusive means being aware of and celebrating the diversity of your team members.

This means you see the strengths and talents of those who are different to you.

Encourage your team to talk openly about their differences and what they bring to the team.

5. Celebrate days of significance

When you celebrate a day of significance, you send a message to your people that you care about diversity.

There are many days of significance in the year to mark the diversity of others.

Here’s a list of examples:

  • Harmony Day
  • International Day of People with Disability
  • International Women’s Day
  • NAIDOC Week
  • R U OK? Day
  • Wear It Purple Day

You don’t have to make it a big deal. A meaningful group email or morning tea is enough.

If you can get a guest speaker or have a special event then even better, as this shows your commitment to diversity.