ASOHNS Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
Diversity and inclusion in health workforce leads to better patient outcomes and happier, healthier, more productive surgeons. The initiative is another step in our continuous Improvement pathway and aims to meet our responsibilities as a professional organisation and as a training provider.
What is it and how does it work?
The Diversity Council of Australia (insert hyperlink in end notes) defines diversity as the mix of people in an organisation and inclusion as getting that mix to work[i]. There are many dimensions to diversity, some protected under law. We are all a complex mix of our own diversity attributes.
Diversity and Inclusion delivers better outcomes at three levels, through three mechanisms:
- Individuals reach their full potential
- Teams reach their full potential: health workforce
- Cognitive diversity: better problem solving, risk management, decisions, research and innovation, bias and blind spot mitigation
- Cultural diversity: cultural add, collective cultural competence, cultural safety
- Increased services to underserved populations
- Societies reach their full potential
These three mechanisms have a common final pathway: productive, creative conflict. To keep conflicts of ideas, culture, biases and blind spots in the productive zone, we need agreed and non-negotiable behaviours:
- Respectful behaviour and communication.
- Robust civility: having the difficult conversations, disagreeing well, challenging ideas and behaviours, not the individual
- Unconditional positive regard for each other (the belief that people are doing their best with the resources they have, are capable of change and should be regarded with care and support regardless of what they say and do https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_positive_regard