Diversity Festival recap: Inclusive leadership – leading by example

July 18th, 2022

For the next few weeks, we will be highlighting one keynote event a week for those who missed out on the live sessions. This week, we’re recapping the Inclusive leadership: leading by example event. 

This keynote session brought us together as a community to share personal stories and experiences, think about what inclusive leadership means and explore how we can all be inclusive leaders. 

Alumna Terri Cooper shared an inspiring video message on the six Cs of inclusive leadership – commitment, collaboration, curiosity, cultural intelligence, cognisance of bias and courage – encouraging everyone to embrace these six Cs and be incredibly successful leaders.  

Katherine Linehan talked about the importance of creating an inclusive environment where everyone felt able to bring their authentic self to work and study, encouraging and empowering others, and giving everyone the opportunity to flourish. 

We explored how to recognise non-inclusive behaviour and have the courage to challenge such behaviour, and the importance of using positive reinforcements to enable an understanding of what good inclusive leadership looks like.  

We talked about showing emotion at work and that this shouldn’t be a sign of weakness. Using our emotions effectively, in a controlled way, sharing what we are comfortable with enables us to bring others along with us and build trust. 

There were some key messages for us to take away: 

  • It’s okay to be an introvert and to be a leader – introverts made good leaders too. You don’t have to be the loudest at the table! 
  • When building a team, employ people who are better than you, as they will take you in a really exciting direction. 
  • Seek out the opportunity to engage with the excellent mentoring and development opportunities here at the university – find your ally, find your mentor. 
  • We might not get it right all of the time, but the key thing is to keep trying – practice makes perfect! 
  • Sharing personal stories and conversations like this are incredibly inspiring and invaluable. We should all find more opportunities to have these conversations – once a year is not enough! 

Helen McNamara outlined the university’s plans to create a pathway to embed the university’s values – inclusivity, ambition, openness, fairness, respect – in everything we do.  

There were many powerful and inspiring moments. We hope everyone walked away feeling empowered to continue these conversations in their own areas, create that ripple effect and help us on our journey to inclusive leadership. 

Watch the full recording below. 


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