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Diversity, inclusion and multi-cultural appreciation on projects

A shared vision: commitments and guiding principles
Imagine a future where diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural appreciation on public and private projects enables sustainable industries, drives economic growth and fosters social inclusion.

This is a living document indicating desired commitments on mental health and well-being by all parties to projects, and outlining guiding principles.

Senior project leaders participating in the Executive Leadership in Major Projects (ELMP) program have develop a number of shared visions for projects facilitated by Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld (Brandeis University) and updated by successive ELMP cohorts. These include shared visions for employment relationsdiversity and inclusionsocial licenseinnovation, and mental health and wellbeing on projects

Our commitments

  • As project leaders, we will actively foster a culture where mental health and well-being are appreciated and openly addressed in inclusive and constructive ways – as important as workplace safety.

This is a living document indicating desired commitments on diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural appreciation by all parties to projects, and outlining guiding principles.

Senior project leaders participating in the Executive Leadership in Major Projects (ELMP) program have develop a number of shared visions for projects facilitated by Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld (Brandeis University) and updated by successive ELMP cohorts. These include shared visions for employment relationsdiversity and inclusionsocial licenseinnovation, and mental health and wellbeing on projects

Our commitments

  • Leaders in Australia’s projects will actively foster diversity and seek multi-cultural inclusion in order to help deliver best-in-class projects in the public and private sectors.

Suggested guiding principles

  • Multi-faceted definition of diversity: Diversity on projects spans gender, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, age, education, experience, abilities, thought, and other factors.
  • Cultural understanding / local ethics and customs – Don’t make assumptions – ask questions to build understanding about the ways in which culture and other forms of diversity matter on projects, cognisant of local ethics and customs.
  • Creating difference through action / business case for change: Foster recognition, appreciation, and understanding.  Build the business case for change that leverages diversity to add value and mitigate harm on projects.
  • Bridging across diversity – Identify underlying shared interests and values, while appreciating diversity.  Bridge across diversity to make new connections.
  • Multi-cultural communication: Communication processes and behaviors take into account multi-cultural audiences – seeking understanding, not just task completion.   
  • Team behaviours embracing diversity: Diversity within project teams has been demonstrated to drive innovation and effectiveness, but team dynamics and cultural norms can be challenging for people who do not see the team as welcoming their ideas and views.
  • Mentoring and sponsorship: Project leaders mentor and sponsor diverse individuals, modeling inclusion with decisions and actions, with appropriate accountability.
  • Leading practice sharing across projects: Projects and organizations should document and share innovations in diversity and inclusion in order to identify leading practices for the profession.
  • Societal education on diversity and multi-cultural integration: Project and organizations should reach out to schools and universities to foster education on diversity and inclusion – building a workforce that can best enable project and community success.

Overarching project objectives

  • Creating value: Appreciating diversity, inclusion and multi-cultural appreciation on projects creates value for diverse stakeholders now and builds capability for the future.
  • Mitigating risk: Stakeholders should share responsibility for mitigating the risks associated with diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural appreciation on projects.

Shared visions represent what can be called “true north” or aspirational goals, though they are intended to be feasible, rather than just wish lists. Shared visions are living documents, enabling alignment and evolving as the points of alignment themselves evolve. Read more.