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Why is Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Wellbeing important?

The TIO’s EDI and Wellbeing Lead Andrew Fitisemanu tells us it’s not about why, but why we must.

The TIO is renewing its focus on Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Wellbeing with EDI and Wellbeing Lead Andrew Fitisemanu stepping into the role late last year.

Andrew is passionate about taking the organisation on a learning journey to improve the workplace, and aims to shape a “living breathing entity” that evolves as the organisation changes.

Andrew explains, “It’s not about monumental change, it’s about taking one step forward at a time, and making sure that everyone at the organisation has the invitation to join the journey.”

“When people ask me why EDI and wellbeing is important, I always have the same answer – it’s the right thing to do. There is no justification around it, it is just the right, human thing to do. I like to turn the conversation around and say – if you ask why, then it reinforces why we must.”

Andrew is working on several initiatives across the organisation, including being recently appointed co-chair of the TIO’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee, and is currently developing an organisational Wellbeing Strategy. This work includes looking at an inclusive approach to wellbeing and implementing a wellbeing program to support the TIO. Andrew is exploring career development, employee physical health, creating safe spaces and how the organisation can support employee resource groups on LGBTQI+ inclusion, neurodiversity, accessibility and celebrating diversity in all its forms.

“Wellbeing requires a holistic approach. It’s a deep dive into what is unique about the TIO and its people, and looks at the question – what do employees really need?

“I’m looking at developing programs that help people to achieve great outcomes for themselves, because we all know that happy and engaged employees make our organisation a better place to be. But in addition to this, my view is that a wellbeing program must add value for an individual. And the flow on effect of this strategy will enhance our service. We have to support our people so they can support members and consumers.”

Andrew’s work is closely tied with the TIO’s goal of becoming formally recognised as an Employer of Choice. “It’s not just a recruitment strategy. It’s actually about how we look after our people while they’re here. If we recruit people under a promise about our culture, we must keep that promise of a great culture.”

Read more about the TIO’s commitment to becoming an Employer of Choice here.