Ascend Pathways: leading inclusion and celebrating diversity

Australian desert horizon

As a nation built on the strengths of our people, we are uniquely placed to lead the drive towards a future that celebrates every individual and their value in the workplace. Our processes will enable a collective success which will break negative cycles and create wealth and sustainability for both the individual and the workplace.

Ascend Pathways

In July of 2020 Brunel developed its latest service offering Ascend Pathways: a bespoke suite of tools, support and services designed to assist organisations to achieve their workplace diversity and inclusion goals.

While Ascend Pathways has been busy working with both new and existing clients, and designing exciting new initiatives to support organisations' D&I journeys, we felt it was imperative that we also turn our gaze inwards. As a global organisation, Brunel is of the mindset that to effect a genuine social change in any area you must first be willing to adopt those practices you promote and be willing to lead by example.

We are passionate about enacting our own change every bit as much as we wish to enable others to do the same. Apart from the extremely well received value add for our clients and a diversified service offering to market, Ascend Pathways has seen Brunel adopt an impressive number of internal changes since its inception.

Young people discussion

Brunel's achievements on this journey have included:

  • One of our first wins was to implement a dedicated recruitment pathway for all diverse candidates with additional support provided during the recruitment and on boarding process.
  • Brunel’s Ascend Pathways has rolled out a series of Cultural Competency training sessions (soon to be available for our clients) to almost 60 staff members internally. We also benchmarked our current standing on Inclusion and Diversity with a comprehensive employee survey to ensure we can accurately measure our growth and change in this area.
  • Brunel has drafted six new Policies, Procedures, Standards and Guidelines to provide a meaningful framework for Inclusion in the Workplace, underpinned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment and engagement. They also position us strongly in our tendering process as we can demonstrate a strong capability in meeting Local and ATSI Content requirements.
  • Brunel has designed a Three Phase Strategy for Inclusion and Diversity, to be implemented over twelve months. This will mark the first big step towards Brunel Australasia adopting our first Reconciliation Action Plan (planned for 2021) and hopefully achieving the level of competence that will allow us to also achieve ISO Accredited for Diversity and Inclusion in the near future.
  • Brunel has adopted two new Supply Nation Approved Indigenous suppliers to our current list of local suppliers for 2020 and are looking at other areas we can potentially engage with other Aboriginal Suppliers.
  • This journey has also highlighted a global appetite within Brunel for the promotion of diversity and inclusion as a moral standpoint as well as a business commitment. Brazil, Canada and Northern America have also shown an amazing commitment to the Ascend Pathways ideals by creating a D&I working group.
  • Since Brunel launched Ascend Pathways we have seen a massive four fold increase in representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within our workforce! This is the achievement I am most proud of to date. 
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    Sonya Liddle
    Manager – Diversity & Inclusion Services
    Sonya Liddle
    For over 15 years, Sonya has operated and managed Indigenous businesses providing services within the employment, training, community health, council governance and resource sectors. Driven by a strong desire to see equality and inclusion not only discussed, but tangibly enacted, Sonya works with people and organisations to build the pathways and capabilities needed to make ongoing change possible. Over the course of her career, Sonya has designed and implemented numerous Indigenous Recruitment and Employment Strategies including Mentoring, Training and Workforce Development Plans, and has successfully facilitated the recruitment and placement of over 150 Indigenous personnel across maritime, resource and professional roles.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    Brunel acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people of the many traditional lands and language groups of Australia. We acknowledge the wisdom of Elders both past and present, and pay respect to the communities of today. We recognise their continuing connection to the land, waters and community.