This week, in the lead-up to our Melbourne Knowledge Week workshop Diversity in the innovation ecosystem, we chatted to our third speaker: Lynn Nguyen, Customer Strategy Manager at Scope Australia. Scope is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit disability service providers. Scope supports people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities to achieve their goals in life.

Lynn is a marketing and CX professional but has had a diverse career – she started out in criminal law, then progressed into a number of product and marketing roles in Australia and the UK. She now leads the customer strategy function at Scope Australia. Lynn champions diversity in the workplace by only employing people who share her (and Scope’s) values of inclusion and equal citizenship.

Lynn, why is diversity and inclusion important to you?

I wholeheartedly believe that you can’t be what you can’t see. I am Vietnamese by descent and I’ve always struggled to find role models that look and sound like me in the workplace. To this day I am usually the only Vietnamese-Australian in the room wherever I am, and often non-white woman. Being a first-generation immigrant, for many years I felt that by assimilating, I had lost the right to speak for and about the things that made me different. This meant I struggled to find my authentic voice in the workplace. This is why diversity and inclusion are so important to me.

When did you first feel like the work you are doing in this space was starting to make an impact?

A part of my remit is to amplify the voice of the customer internally. One way my team and I do that is by using technology to collect and share insights. Scope has always collected customer feedback but it was never widely shared. For residents living in our supported homes, their thoughts and opinions often sat on scanned pieces of paper that were buried in a folder on someone’s PC. By introducing new technology and upskilling staff we’ve been able to disseminate this information to decision-makers in the organisation. I’ve seen this change the way some decisions are made at Scope. Diversity of voice in decision-making is incredibly difficult to achieve but I believe having access to those voices is a solid start.

Where would you recommend people look for resources to build their practice and understanding of this topic?

Diversity Australia has some great resources. You can’t participate if you can’t communicate so Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre is also a good place to start if organisations are serious about exploring ways to make the workplace more accessible and inclusive, particularly for those with communication difficulties.

Book your ticket (free event) to Diversity in the innovation ecosystem

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 20–26 May 2019, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne. Paper Giant is hosting this event in partnership with Committee for Melbourne.