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The Futurist: Lynne Barry’s vision for managing the workforce of the future

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Lynne Barry, global head of learning and development, Telstra explains the how maintaining diversity and leveraging on technology is going to impact the future workforce.  

Workforces are increasingly becoming more global and greater diversity is an inevitable part of this growth.
As companies expand into new markets, the mix of cultures, backgrounds and languages in the workforce multiplies.

Telstra knows this trend well. In recent years, we have made a strategic shift from being a largely Australian-orientated telecommunications company with a strong focus on infrastructure to a global technology and customer-led business.

Today, Telstra has more than 3,000 people working in 20 countries outside our Australian base and thousands more people in partner companies providing customer service and operations support.

By fostering diversity and inclusion, Telstra believes it can attract, recruit, engage and retain talented people that will help improve business results, enhance its reputation, and ultimately, help grow its business across the world.

So, how do we do it?

The focus on diversity and inclusion at Telstra starts at the top with a diversity and inclusion council that is chaired by the CEO and includes the full CEO leadership team.

It contributes to supporting Telstra’s business strategy by driving initiatives in these three areas: our customers, our communities and our people.

The backbone of it is to create a global mindset among our employees in the context of a flexible and inclusive environment.
We aim to provide a flexible and inclusive experience to our employees and flexible working arrangements are at its core.

This may mean our employees work fewer hours, have different working hours or request mobility options to work in other locations. For Telstra, it’s not about where our employees are, it’s about what they do.

Technology has enabled us to provide these flexible working environments, and supported effective communication and collaboration among our employees.

Companies that encourage diversity and inclusiveness, and equip their employees with the flexibility and tools to collaborate effectively stand a much better chance of recruiting and retaining people who can drive growth well into the future.



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