06/03/2018 |

The business case for cultural diversity

by Huss Mustafa OAM, General Manager Multicultural Community Banking Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia


In my 44 years with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the thing I am most proud of is our work on cultural inclusion.


At CBA we want to ensure the diversity of our people is truly reflective of the community we live in. Diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our culture, values and the way we do business. It offers tangible benefits for our employees, customers, shareholders and the communities where we operate.


It’s my passion to ensure that CBA is a workplace where everyone has a sense of belonging, knowing they’re valued for who they are and their diverse perspectives.


We established an internal index to measure the cultural identity of our people at CBA. We’ve found our workforce is as diverse as the Australian population at a junior level, however more progress can be made in our leadership levels. Our Executive Committee and Board has committed to drive change so that by 2020 our bank truly does reflect the cultural diversity of the community at all levels of the bank.


We don’t want anyone to leave their cultural identity behind when they come to work, so we support our people to better understand the impacts of exclusion to team performance and the benefits of an inclusive working environment. That is what enriches the culture of our organisation and brings unique perspectives to better serve our diverse customers. It’s what drives innovation.


To be a champion of workplace diversity and inclusion, you need to role model it and promote how it helps to deliver business strategy.

-Huss Mustafa OAM

Businesses that acknowledge and welcome diverse perspectives are more innovative and profitable, and research shows that there is a direct correlation between financial performance and an inclusive workplace

I’ve always believed that a culturally diverse team is an asset and second languages give people a competitive advantage.


I’ve been supporting the business case for cultural diversity for over a quarter of a century and have seen the benefits it creates. It’s important for businesses to understand how diverse our community is, and that our workplace reflects this.


My colleagues have seen the benefits of cultural diversity and want to continue to embrace it.


I am a founding member of CBA’s internal cultural diversity steering group, Mosaic. I am proud of our many achievements; including incorporating the hijab into CBA’s corporate wardrobe.


There are over 2,000 Mosaic champions who are trained to improve awareness of cultural inclusion. The training examines how everyone has a role in building a more inclusive workplace, challenging privilege, and understanding what exclusion can look and feel like in the workplace.


A Taste of Harmony is a simple way to foster meaningful conversations about workplace cultural inclusion, something that is not often freely discussed. It also provides an option for organisations to align a call to action for employees to learn more about how they could be culturally inclusive.


Holding A Taste of Harmony event provides a great opportunity to then begin exploring the business case for cultural diversity.


I encourage you to register an event for your workplace today.

Click here to learn more about A Taste of Harmony and how your workplace can register to get involved.

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