Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand

 
Diversity is a strength – let’s embrace it

Diversity is a strength – let’s embrace it

Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand

 June 2019    RTF News

In the wake of the tragedy that unfolded in Christchurch on March 15 there has never been a better time to address the issue of cultural diversity in our society and within our industry.

Every day New Zealand becomes a more culturally diverse nation. The last census that we have results of – way back in 2013 – showed that NZ's population is made up of significantly large ethnic groups from all around the world.

Seventy-four percent of people in 2013 identified as European, 14.9% as Māori, 11.8% as Asian, 7.4% as Pacific peoples and 1.2% as Middle-Eastern, Latin American and African.
In Auckland, our most multi-ethnic region, 59.3% identify as European, 23.1% as Asian, 10.7% as Māori, and 14.6% as Pacific Islanders.

In the six years since that census it must be assumed that our ethnic diversity has only increased.

...

Subscribers: Please LOGIN to read the full article.

In the wake of the tragedy that unfolded in Christchurch on March 15 there has never been a better time to address the issue of cultural diversity in our society and within our industry.
Every day New Zealand becomes a more culturally diverse nation. The last census that we have results of – way back in 2013 – showed that NZ's population is made up of significantly large ethnic groups from all around the world.
Seventy-four percent of people in 2013 identified as European, 14.9% as Māori, 11.8% as Asian, 7.4% as Pacific peoples and 1.2% as Middle-Eastern, Latin American and African.
In Auckland, our most multi-ethnic region, 59.3% identify as European, 23.1% as Asian, 10.7% as Māori, and 14.6% as Pacific Islanders.
In the six years since that census it must be assumed that our ethnic diversity has only increased.
From being a fairly bi-cultural nation at the end of World War 2, NZ has – within a couple of generations – become a place where people from all over the world are able to live, work and raise a family.
This new diversity has brought so many advantages to our country: New ideas, new experiences, different outlooks on the world. It has in many ways brought the world closer.
Those of us with a few grey hairs remember a time when going overseas on our big OE was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was intended to open our eyes to the world.
Well, for our kids it certainly doesn't feel like that anymore. They're exposed to such a variety of cultures and people at home that when they do head overseas, they're already far more worldly people – and can take advantage of that knowledge and thrive in the global community.
When it comes to the workforce within the road transport industry, hiring people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures that reflect the makeup of our society is simply the only way forward.
Having staff with different perspectives and ideas, and a company that embraces diversity, will, it has been proven, lead to better employee satisfaction, retention and productivity.
One of the most practical ways for road transport companies to address the ongoing driver shortage is to focus more recruiting efforts on groups of people outside of the traditional industry demographic.
Women, millennials and those from different ethnic groups may initially require more mentoring and assistance through obstacles like the driver licensing system – but making those investments now will pay off, by having staff who enjoy where they work and who will go the extra mile for the employer who gave them a chance.
I think one of the biggest things we can do is to put unconscious bias aside and open our minds to the possibility that someone who doesn't look like us can do the job equally as well.
As we age, we can get into a rut of believing our way is the right way. However, we don't drive TK Bedfords anymore. We need to open our toolbox of skills and share the knowledge – even if it's with just a smile and a pat on the back. Encourage the newbies 'cos they are our future too.
Meryn Morrison is chair of the Women in Road Transport Network (WiRT). WiRT can be contacted through the RTF website or via the Women in Road Transport NZ Facebook page.



Search Articles

NZ Truck & Driver Magazine
Read Now