Finding the gold in celebrating cultural diversity at work
At gold mining company Newmont, A Taste of Harmony has become the stand-out event of the year. This year, there was a queue out the door as employees eagerly lined up to share food, traditions and stories in a celebration of culture.
Within the organisation there’s a strong belief that a diverse culture helps for better decision making and creating a better place to work. Taking part in A Taste of Harmony is a very natural fit and a recognition of this core value of Newmont employees.
According to enthusiastic event organiser Donna Hile, “A Taste of Harmony is a great way to experience new cultures through food and share stories with my colleagues, which also assists with bonding. The food is amazing and it’s truly warming to see our staff get behind the event.”
How did you hear about A Taste of Harmony and why did you choose to take part?
Newmont has been participating in A Taste of Harmony for the last five years, with many staff citing it as their favourite event of the year! As an initiative from our voluntary-led Business Resource Group (BRG), employee groups formed around common interests and/or common bonds dedicated to fostering an inclusive and diverse work environment.
The BRG was looking for an engaging event to coincide with UN International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination and A Taste of Harmony provided that perfect opportunity.
How did you participate in 2019 and which staff took part?
Staff were invited to make or buy something that reminded them of their culture or traditions to bring to a shared morning tea. We then told stories and shared cultures and traditions from home. We had dishes representing over 20 different cultures.
Why is cultural diversity important in your workplace?
Operating in many regions across the globe, creating an inclusive environment where employees have the opportunity to contribute, develop and work together is central to Newmont’s business strategy.
In our resources sector, diversity and inclusion is celebrated and leveraged to strengthen our position as an employer of choice, increasing the feeling of trust and belonging to the organisation and delivering better results and outcomes for our stakeholders.
Did you use any resources from the website?
Yes, we found the resources on the website really helpful.
- ‧ Posters–were a great visual display within our offices promoting the event.
- ‧ Web Event Hub–this encouraged people to register their dishes and include a story which was great for all to see – the enthusiasm was contagious. To encourage dish registration and momentum all registered dish providers went into a ‘door’ prize draw.
- ‧ The Conversation Cards – Everyone participating received a card and these were a great way to start meaningful conversations about culture and what it means to different people.
- ‧ Dish cards – these were printed and attached to each dish.
- ‧ The World Map–displayed in the room during the day.
- ‧ Spotify ATOH Music list–played during the morning tea and helped enhance the mood.
- ‧ The Quiz – copies of the quiz were printed and placed around the room; many people had fun gathering in small groups to test their worldly knowledge.
What benefits did you notice in the workplace after holding A Taste of Harmony event?
An enhanced understanding and leveraging of our differences within and across Newmont. You could also feel a camaraderie and inclusiveness among staff with new bonds formed and real connections made between people outside of their daily roles.
Are there any particular stories of staff that you remember that you can share?
There were so many lovely stories about family traditions, from memories of cooking a dish with Gran, to a dish that was always shared with family on a Sunday.
Was there anything that surprised you that came up in discussions?
I was moved by people’s openness and willingness to share personal stories about their own journeys, culture and heritage.
Why would you encourage other organisations to get involved?
It’s a social way to continue diversity discussions and increase awareness, it’s relatively simple to organise, the resources are great and in a practical sense, what’s not to love about a shared morning tea?
Download Newmont’s ATOH story here: