A recipe for perfect harmony banner
 
Harmony Week is an Australian government initiative designed to promote social cohesion and racial harmony.
 
Australia is proud of its multicultural communities and the D&I committee here at Digital Intelligence believes that it is an opportunity to showcase community participation, inclusiveness, celebrating diversity, respect and belonging.
 
That’s because we recognise our cultural diversity as being one of our greatest strengths and at the heart of who we are. We come from many different cultures and as a team this makes us stronger. And it’s really important part of our business that not only everyone feels included, but we all feel comfortable in bringing our culture to work.
 

Settling in, speaking up

Thinking back to my start at the company and I remember struggling to feel valued and a real part of the team. Don’t get me wrong – no one said anything wrong, it was more personal view of myself that was bringing me down. When you enter a room with mostly male colleagues and you are the only one with a non-British accent, it takes courage to speak. This meant I struggled to accept myself in the workplace.
 
It took time and working with a great bunch of people has given me the opportunity to grow and realise that the company and my colleagues needed me for my diversity. That my different outlook and perception of things was actually helping the others move forward. I have learned to be proud of the expression ‘A foreign accent is a sign of bravery’, way before it became a quote by Amy Chua.
 
For me personally this was a consequence of fulfilling a dream of going to live on the other side of the world. I vividly remember landing in Melbourne – for the first time ever – and three days later arriving at our office to start work.
 
The team here is such a representation of Australian diversity where nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was.
 
Apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi. And, yes Italian is one of the largest communities. My children attend a bilingual Italian/English state school. As I often joke, I took my kids to the other side of the world to finally learn proper Italian as before they lived most of their lives in Belgium.
 

A taste for diversity

One of the most fun office events before the pandemic was something we called “potluck”. One day per quarter we could all take home made food for lunch to the office and share it between colleagues. You can imagine what a feast for the palate and what diversity! After all, food is often used as a means of retaining cultural identity. (…said by an Italian).
 
By collecting the favourite recipes of our colleagues in a fantastic cook book - Digital Harmony: A Taste of Harmony . We can now all replicate those delicious dishes at home and still benefit of having our multicultural team. I hope you enjoy our cookbook too!
 

About the author
Cinzia Carletti is Financial Services APAC Operations Manager at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence
Diversity and inclusion

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Diversity and inclusion at BAE Systems

Embracing difference - the best people for our business come from all walks of life
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Cinzia Carletti

Financial Services APAC Operations Manager at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence
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