Changing Perspectives - On World Inclusion Day

10 October 2023
MFA's DEI Council

The MFA DE&I Council would like to see an industry where everyone can thrive, feel heard, supported, and safe to do their best work. Let’s meet the Changers who are sharing their own lived experiences to inspire us all to change for the better.

As we celebrate World Inclusion Day, we asked the MFA DE&I Council to reflect on what they have learnt about inclusivity over the last 12 months.

We know that inclusivity is our greatest strength, weaving a vibrant tapestry of voices and perspectives which can help challenges to be met with unity, and diversity to fuel innovation. And the Media Industry thrives on innovation and unity - after all our vision is Media for All.

Let’s carry these lessons forward, knowing that every effort, no matter how small, contributes to a more empowered community. Happy World Inclusion Day.

Here’s what some of our council members learnt over the last 12 months:

Joshua Green, chair MFA DE&I Advisory Council and strategy director at Spark Foundry, Sydney

The past year has highlighted the industry’s potential in shaping diversity in Australia and how straightforward it is to enact change through our channel recommendations, talent choices, hiring practices, and innovative ideas, exemplified by initiatives like Shift 20. Let me be clear - these don't represent monumental changes to what we already do. They're tweaks. But they're tweaks that have impact.

Tanvi Singh, deputy chair MFA DE&I Advisory Council and strategy director, Mindshare Melbourne

Being more inclusive requires working on our unconscious biases so we eliminate them with intent.

Asier Carazo, national head of strategy, Atomic 212

In the last 12 months I've focused on developing my empathy and active listening skills to better understand the experiences and perspectives of others. Not underestimating this and being more intentional when it comes to actively listening is essential for inclusivity.

Bridget Wever, performance director, Zenith Melbourne

Over the past year, I've been reminded of the significance of listening more and speaking less, which serves as a great piece of advice in most situations, but in particular with inclusion. Actively seeking diverse viewpoints and avoiding a homogenised feedback loop helps us understand a broader spectrum of views and opinions. Embracing different backgrounds and diversifying our content consumption is especially crucial during this period leading up to the historic Indigenous Voice referendum.

Elena Giannini, business director, Avenue C

I have learnt to ask questions and be open to hearing the answer.

Olivia Beringer, senior research director, PHD Sydney

To take a person’s background and communication style into consideration when speaking and listening, so what is communicated is “heard”.

Pawena Kaniah, strategist, IProspect Sydney

I've embraced the power of active listening and humbling myself to continually learn to be more inclusive, realizing that true understanding comes from empathy and an open heart.

Petrice Koutsis, partnerships manager, UM Brisbane

I have learnt to focus on the individual person more, rather than just what you see, as well as honing in on preferences such as pronouns, and ways to describe someone.

Philippa Moig, former head of NSW Government, OMD

The most important thing I have leaned into over the past 12 months is to LISTEN more intently. We learn more from listening than speaking and become better at creating safe spaces for others.

To broaden your understanding of DE&I, complete the SBS Core Inclusion course – Australia’s leading online DE&I training course – available for free to MFA member employees. Access ends December 2023.

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