How staff diversity can benefit your business

Three event management professionals share their experiences of cultural diversity in the workplace.
Delegates at the International Metropolis Conference 2018

Event management company Arinex is celebrating the positive impact of staff diversity, on the back of organising the International Metropolis Conference 2018 in Sydney.

Taking place from 29 October to 2 November, the conference brought together world leaders and experts to discuss the benefits of migration, diversity and integration, at ICC Sydney.

Beginning as a multi-lingual tour guide company, Arinex is well-versed in cultural differences and sensitivities. It currently employs 85 staff from a range of cultures and demographics, who collectively speak 23 languages.

With cultural diversity front of mind, three Arinex employees have shared their thoughts on why diversity is important in the workplace.

Intern Miriam Boehm is currently working with Arinex on a secondment from Germany. She said cultural diversity makes for a more inclusive workplace environment.

“As soon as I meet another German on site you can see them immediately relax when they realise I’m German too,” she said. “It’s a nice commonality and helps establish a sense of familiarity straight away.

“For overseas promotions, my familiarisation with the German work ethic helped us better coordinate with local suppliers and made the process a lot smoother.”

Market development manager Drew Whait said developing close connections to a Chinese family growing up has helped with developing business opportunities overseas.

“An understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture has allowed me to develop and strengthen ties with several Chinese companies, resulting in new sponsorship arrangements for client events,” he said.

“Simple, but important signs of respect and understanding are often all it takes.

“Without knowing what they are, you can be damaging a relationship before you even start.”

Igor Kasalovic joined Arinex 17 years ago as senior digital designer after bringing his family to Australia in 1998 to seek refuge from the former war-torn Yugoslavia.

“Over the years Serbian or Croatian delegates have been excited to speak with another countryman and to revert to their first language,” he said.

“A particularly exciting experience was when I acted as an interpreter during the 18th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas in Perth.”

Arinex CEO Tamara Kavalec said the 45-year-old company has always given weight to staff diversity.

“It enriches our workplace, our understanding of the world around us and our approach to business,” she said.

“I am in no doubt we are the successful company we are today, able to deliver better experiences for our clients and their delegates, because of our marvellously eclectic team.”

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