Date posted: 08/09/2022

Inclusive leaders and diverse thinking attract talent

Our online member event examined how inclusive leadership and driving diversity can help to attract and support your talent.

More than 4,500 CAs registered to hear from world-renowned demographer Bernard Salt AM on the changing face of Australian and New Zealand workplaces, followed by a panel discussion with Karen Loon FCA, Nurain Janah CA and Leatigaga Jason Tualima.

CA ANZ President Kate Boorer FCA opened the event highlighting that the most pressing challenge for members is attracting and retaining the talent needed to deliver for clients and foster a thriving work culture. Kate also outlined the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to the profession.

The business case for diversity, equity and inclusion has been proven time and time again. McKinsey data shows diverse companies are more likely to perform financially. Companies in the fourth quartile for gender and ethnic diversity on executive teams were 27 percent more likely to underperform on profitability. A survey of 9,000 recruiters across 39 countries saw more than three-quarters cite workplace diversity as the top issue for their clients.

How can CAs foster more diversity in their workplaces? Inclusive leadership.

Our expert panel unpacked this concept as well as a range of member questions.

Bernard Salt AM stated that diversity, equity, and inclusion was a way of ‘swimming in a deeper pool’ when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent.

Karen Loon FCA highlighted that diversity programs can lack impact when we forget the importance of the heart, and only focus on policies and processes. Her tip for members was that family shapes how we are at work and impacts our motivations, so bringing our authentic self to work is an important leadership quality.

Nurain Janah CA talked about how going first, asking questions and creating a safe space for teams were some of the most important steps for leaders to take.

Leatigaga Jason Tualima likened leadership to service, to bring everyone up and build capability. By storytelling and building relationships through sharing, listening and ongoing mentorships, leaders can create long term inclusion.

The panel

Bernard Salt AM

Bernard Salt AM

Leading social commentator and business analyst. Bernard draws on vast datasets to interpret the overall trajectory of social change in the past and into the future. He argues that social and cultural change are rising forces that are reshaping the way we live, how we work and even how we form relationships.


Karen Loon FCA

Karen Loon FCA

Non-Executive Director and audit committee chair and author of Fostering Culturally Diverse Leadership in Organisations: Lessons from Those Who Smashed the Bamboo Ceiling, which launched this month.


Nurain Janah CA

Nurain Janah CA

Manager, Turnaround & Restructuring Strategy at EY and Founder of Authenticity Aotearoa, a not-for-profit collective created to empower women of colour to express their authentic selves in their personal and professional lives.


Leatigaga Jason Tualima

Leatigaga Jason Tualima

Deputy Secretary Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer at Ministry for Pacific Peoples, the Crown’s principal advisor on policies and interventions aimed at improving outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa.

Your fellow CAs

Find out more about the two members on the panel, Karen Loon FCA and Nurain Janah CA, by reading our previous stories on their careers and life lessons.


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