Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


Helen McKernan
Project Consultant, National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity, Swinburne University of Technology

Fantasies, Foibles and Fruitful Outcomes:
Learnings from a Three Year Diversity Program in a Telco Organization

In 1998 the National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity was contacted by a Telco organization to discuss the implementation of a diversity training program for a large number of employees. The contracting process resulted in redirecting the project to the development of a division wide strategic approach to diversity management. This paper reports on specific strategies, outcomes and challenges encountered in maintaining the diversity momentum within a technical Business Unit, over-represented by technical Anglo men. The paper refers to the successes and failures, the hopes and hindrances within the four phases of the Diversity Program, with the final phase concluding in June 2001 :
Phase One: Needs and Commitment Analysis
Phase Two: Diversity Leadership Development
Phase Three: Incorporation of Valuing Diversity Principles throughout the Business Unit
Phase Four: Mainstreaming

Helen McKernan (BSc, Dip Ed) has 8 years experience in working within the Education Sectors and Corporations to implement diversity learning and management practices that reflect the business priorities of the organisations as well as challenge what is normalised as successful ways of managing. She has a particular interest in exploring 'on the ground' strategies that enable leaders and managers in organisations to create more inclusive workplace cultures.

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001