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How diversity and inclusion may improve your business

26 July 2023 | 5 min read

Diversity and inclusion should be top of mind for businesses who want to be at the top of their game.

But what are the business benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce? How does Bendigo Bank create a diverse and inclusive workplace?

What is diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand, but they are two different things. 

Diversity is a mix of people who might differ. This might be by culture, age, education, sexuality, gender, profession or way of thinking. Inclusion is about creating a workplace that makes the diverse mix work. It’s about how employees experience their work environment and whether they feel valued and respected. 

A diverse and inclusive workplace makes everyone feel welcome and involved, regardless of who they are or the type of work they do for the business. 

Why does my business need it?

Together, diversity and inclusion make a winning business strategy. People with different ideas introduce new perspectives and experiences.  People who feel they can be themselves at work are better engaged, more productive and develop even more creative solutions.  This could give your business the edge over your competition.

Consumers today expect brands to operate ethically and inclusively. They want to work for a company who accepts all people and treats employees with fairness and respect. Making diversity and inclusion part of your business will improve your reputation and help you to attract more people to work for your business. 

How does Bendigo Bank support workplace diversity and inclusion?

We think everyone deserves to feel included and valued. Bendigo Bank proudly welcomes people from a range of backgrounds, with a variety of skills, ages and identities.  We do this because it’s right thing to do and because we believe our differences bring us together and make us stronger.

In 2019, the Bank introduced Belonging at BEN. It’s a formal roadmap for how we will keep building a diverse and inclusive organisation to serve everyone connected with our business.  Click here to read more about Belonging at BEN and diversity and inclusion in our 2022 Sustainability Report.

How do I support diversity and inclusion in my workplace?

Each workplace is different, but there are some things every workplace can consider to improve diversity and inclusion.

We talk to Jason Tinsley, Senior Marketing Manager at Bendigo Bank. He’s also Deputy Chair of the Bank’s BENability Committee, a network of employees who champion issues for employees and customers living with disabilities. 

Workforce Diversity

It’s important to consider how your workforce represents your community. 

“While you should consider all aspects of diversity and inclusion, as a first step, you might choose to focus on the priorities for your business that reflect your broader community. This might include gender equality, LGBTQI+, accessibility or cultural inclusion. If you’ve already created a D&I strategy, you might think about how you can improve, seeking external support if needed,” Mr Tinsley said.

Consider inclusivity in policies and procedures, including recruitment practices and company materials. How you communicate matters, from email signatures to methods of distributing messages.  You might consider creating an action plan, such as a Reconciliation Action Plan or a Disability Action Plan. Click here to read Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan.

You might also want to consider periods or days of significance that are relevant to your business and community, and find ways to celebrate them.

Leaders and others in charge

No matter the size of your business, your leaders and others in charge will help you achieve your goals. Leading by example will have a powerful impact on language and behaviour.

“Their influence will help you to build the workplace culture you want for your business,” he said.

Consider any training your leaders might need such as cultural awareness or unconscious bias training. 


To drive innovation and better business outcomes, all employees need to feel connected, valued and motivated. Committees are an effective way to create action for diversity and inclusion. 

“Committees give a voice for diverse groups and a safe space to discuss lived experiences. Any business would benefit from collaboration to improve employee experience, retention and productivity.” 

“As an example, one in five people in Australia today have a disability. Understanding people and their needs through this direct contact helps them feel more connected and helps businesses improve their operations.”


Employees that are more connected to their workplace connect better with customers. It means they will offer their unique perspectives, ideas and skills to improve products and services, attract new customers and enhance the customer experience.

How will you show your diversity and inclusion strategy publicly? How will you represent yourself on your websites and on social media? Is your business accessible and suitable for people living with physical disabilities or sensory sensitivities? Do you know which employees are bilingual and could communicate with non-English speaking customers? Which community activities can you participate in to show the diversity of your business?

“Being more inclusive impacts every interaction. It can only be a positive for customers to see your business celebrating diversity and inclusion,” he said. 

Measure your success

How do you know your activity is hitting the mark? How will you gather feedback about diversity and inclusion?

Bendigo Bank conducts quarterly surveys for all 7,000 employees to measure diversity, inclusion and wellbeing. Surveys are anonymous, so employees can safely express their thoughts.

Look to other businesses for the outcomes of their diversity and inclusion practices. 

“You don’t have to go it alone. Do your research, but create a path that suits your employees, customers and everyone who is in touch with your business,” he said.

Your Business Matters. Make an enquiry today!


Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is Australia’s most trusted bank^ and our home loan customers are Australia’s most satisfied. ^ We’ve been named an ‘Inclusive Employer 2021-2022’ in the Diversity Council Australia’s (DCA) Inclusion@Work Index, which measures organisations on their progress in diversity and inclusion. We were also recognised with an LGBTQ+ inclusion award from the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), an initiative by Pride in Diversity that evaluates practices at Australia’s top organisations on LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion.
Want to know more about Bendigo Bank’s commitment to building a more sustainable future? Click here to read the Bank’s 2022 Sustainability Report.
^Roy Morgan (2022)
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