North Sydney Promotes Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace

Imani HeadshotImani Backes, Account Executive and North Sydney Women at Gartner lead, shares about how she works to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

We spend a significant amount of our life at work, so it’s important that it’s a place where we can celebrate our differences, raise our awareness and meet people who see the world differently. Along with Kemi, my co-leader and colleague, I lead Women at Gartner in Sydney, and support has been overwhelming. Being part of Women@Gartner has been a fantastic opportunity to connect with different people that I would not normally interact with as part of my everyday role. It’s an opportunity for me to build new skills and understand what’s important for my colleagues when it comes to work culture.

When looking for inspiration about the importance of diversity and inclusion, I look at Gartner’s research and what our experts believe is a priority.

Caroll Rozwell and Suzanne Adnams suggest that “Leaders must shift the focus from diversity to inclusion to improve performance and focus team activities on shared outcomes and values” (Embrace Inclusion to Improve Team Performance). This is why we’re passionate about male champions and connecting with our regional offices.

In our North Sydney office, we recently hosted our Diversity & Inclusion launch event, at which we interviewed D&I leaders at Qantas, AWS and IBM. This was an excellent opportunity to expand our network and understand the impact that D&I groups can have. They gave us great advice that included “start small, think big” (Michelle Hardie, AWS), practicing “reverse mentoring” (Mark Latchford) and ensuring that we “measure exclusion as well as inclusion” (Zak Hammer).

group 2The morning after our very successful launch event, Moe Ali, GVP of Sales in Australia and New Zealand, bowled into the office and asked, “When are we hosting our next event? Let’s do them every quarter; that was excellent.” We plan to take Moe’s advice, hosting a mixture of breakfasts and after-work events with guest speakers and an opportunity to learn about important topics for women in the workplace. Our headline event will be International Women’s Day to highlight the achievements of notable women who have come before us, what we can do moving forward to empower men and women, and how we can leverage Gartner’s experts to create a standout culture of diversity and inclusion.

Moe Ali believes in the power of having diverse teams and stresses the importance of bringing different perspectives and mindsets together. “I am consciously aware that I supplement my team to be diverse, not just males and females, but also a diversity of thoughts and ideas. Being able to have female leaders bring a different perspective to the table helps our team tremendously,” says Moe.

At Gartner, creating an inclusive workspace for all of our associates has been the goal of several of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including our Mosaic, Pride and Veterans groups. Moe, who works closely with all of Gartner’s ERG groups in our North Sydney office and has been a champion for Women@Gartner, places great value on creating an inclusive and diverse working environment. “I have a seven-and-a-half-year-old daughter and I look at these individuals as role models for her future. We need to show the children of today that the world is their oyster. I want to make sure my kids grow up with equal opportunities,” says Moe.


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