Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We must take a diversity hammer to the glass-cultural ceiling - WOMEN'S AGENDA

by JIEH-YUNG LO
Originally published:  September 25, 2017
Publisher: WomensAgenda.com.au 

On September 10 of this year, my Wife Linda and I welcomed our baby daughter Hopelyn to the world. Like all parents, we want to provide our daughter with the very best of opportunities so she can reach her potential and aspirations without hesitation and barriers.

As parents of Chinese-Australian backgrounds, it is our intention to expose Hopelyn to both Chinese and Australian cultural values, which includes passing down our knowledge of both cultures and bringing her up to be proud of her dual identity. Speaking from personal experience, I believe having dual or multiple cultural identities is a competitive edge in a personal and professional capacity. Unfortunately our businesses, corporations and institutions do not see it this way.

Around the same date of our daughter’s birth, a new research report published by the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) found that women from culturally diverse backgrounds are notably under-represented in leadership positions. The report highlighted that 88% of women from culturally diverse backgrounds surveyed planned to advance to a very senior role but only 10% strongly agreed that their leadership traits were recognised or that their opinions were valued and respected. Dubbed as the ‘glass-cultural ceiling’, women from culturally diverse backgrounds face invisible organisational barriers that prevents them from having seats at the leadership table to set the agenda.