Guest Blog: Grace Stratton from All is for All
An Accessible Vision for New Zealand
While the “call” for diversity is frequent, it fails to translate into meaningful action on many fronts. Helen Winkelmann gave the Sylvia Cartwright Address for 2019. In it, she spoke about the need for a diverse judiciary, not as a statistical mirror but to ensure richness of thought and experience as this will lead to greater legal development and a better, fairer justice system. We still have some distance to travel to get there.
Exactly why diversity stumbles is not down to one reason, but it speaks to a wider need, for there to be a system change, which introduces mechanisms that make inclusive practices a requirement, rather than the exception.
Early in June, VisionWeek was an open conversation about the post-Covid future of Aotearoa NZ and an opportunity for us to consider the role we each can have. For me it was a chance to unpack what diversity can actually mean in the spaces we enter and work in. To that end, here are a few specific things I observed and thought about:
- It’s critically important that we acknowledge we stand on the shoulders of giants: we need to take cues from work that occurred before us, honour it and utilise the frameworks as a foundation to build on.
- There is space for everybody: every person’s work is needed and by working collaboratively we will achieve diverse outcomes and create stronger and more impactful work. By centering ourselves in an abundance mindset and understanding that our success must be alongside the rest of our communities, we will translate diversity into action.
- Lived experience must be at the centre: we all must use our privilege to make space, but knowing when to step aside and let lived experience lead is crucial.
Exactly what the future looks like may be uncertain, but a key understanding needs to be that diversity and inclusion have to become meaningful actions, in all aspects of life and spheres of business. There is no one way to achieve that but through collaboration and looking into the past, we can build a future where this is finally realised.