Embrace equity and diversity – and everyone wins

Embrace equity and diversity – and everyone wins

International Women’s Day calls on us to embrace equity for women – let's go beyond that and embrace inclusion and diversity for all.

If you have more than you need, build a bigger table – not a higher fence.

Those who know me, know that I believe that education is a human right, not a privilege. It is then my duty as CEO of a university to include diverse voices. And to listen and amplify the voices that are so rarely heard - those who are marginalised, misrepresented and who may not have access to what many of us take for granted.

That is why I join in senior groups such as Out Leadership where leaders gather because our own stories have inspired us to help businesses to create a better world that is based on equality. We can use our power to collaborate with the LGBTIQA+ community, the disabled community and ally leaders across the globe and advocate for inclusion for all people at every level, from employee to executive to CEO. Because equality drives business, and business drives equality.

I am proud of the fact that Torrens University Australia has been able to do things differently, starting with creating a workplace that celebrates diversity and supports movements such as World Pride. Events like this are more than just about colourful rainbows and street parties, they push the barriers that still exist for many – as activist Emma Goldman says, “if I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

We actively support all our staff to understand all aspects of LGBTIQA+ inclusion and we have a Reconciliation Action Plan that makes Indigenous business, everyone’s business. We currently provide 30+ scholarships to Indigenous students and welcome students of all genders, nationalities, backgrounds – Respect at Uni is something that is a 365-day mission for us.

While I am proud of the fact that 66% of our students are women, on International Women’s Day 2023, I want to call out the fact that there are still enormous barriers for women seeking education – and we need to ensure that there is a real choice for women to gain access to an affordable education so they can be economically sustainable.


our work should equip

The next generation of women

To outdo us in every field

This is the legacy we’ll leave behind

rupi kaur

The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities are not enough. Equity is not just a nice-to-have, it is a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA. And it is critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.

Torrens University Australia started from a different place. As Australia’s fastest growing, private university we have had an opportunity to do things differently. Our purpose is to help all people become economically stronger through the advantages that higher education brings.

We aim to bring down economic barriers to those who need it most, to make clever use of technology in a way that goes beyond just providing online courses but speaks to the student as the digital consumer and most importantly, embracing, educating, and calling out the merit of all human beings in a way that is free of gender bias, prejudice, and racism. We need to not just create equal opportunities; we need to change the opportunity on offer.

It is a brave new world and one that is not about re-creation but creation, with diversity and inclusion as the cornerstones.

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