Diversity Equity and Inclusion
As an emerging network of networks seeking to accelerate system change, it is vital that our work places diversity, equity and inclusion at the centre of all we do.
This policy will apply to all the ways SENVIC engages its members as well as in the recruitment of people to the SENVIC team, SENVIC committees, the board and other forums.
SENVIC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is reflected in these three principles:
Inclusion and Equity
Maximise opportunities for self-determination and embed the voices of intersectional lived experiences in decision-making, operations and practice.
Amplify the diverse views and collective interests of members.
Harness the diversity of our membership across the ecosystem to grow and celebrate together.
- Engagement – is a variety of activities that SENVIC meaningfully engages in within the organisation, at board level and with current and potential members of the SENVIC community. This engagement is a two-way process, an evolving conversation, and allows for members to participate in decisions for planning, policies, programs and services that impact or benefit them.
- Equity – is the creation of opportunities that are mindful of power and privilege within engagement processes, institutions and the broader systems. It involves an equitable distribution of resources and corrections for imbalances by operating in a way that empowers marginalised people with a voice.
- Diversity – is the awareness and celebration of intersectionality and variety of lived experiences. For member engagement, it is the representation of different identities and intersectional lived experiences across gender, race, age identity, neuro-diversity, ethnicity, location, (dis)ability and socioeconomic status
- Accessibility – means everybody and anybody can fully participate in the engagement process.
- Inclusion – is the active involvement of the demographic, attitudinal and experiential diversity of the social enterprise community. Inclusion nurtures a sense of belonging, recognition and safety for all people, where diverse perspectives and ways of life are valued, respected and celebrated
- Emerging – means the future champions of social enterprise are emerging and may not be SENVIC members today. We are inclusive and actively encourage new-comers to take leadership roles.
- Positionality – is the recognition of our individual and collective privilege, and that differences in social position and power shape identities and access in society. We recognise that we have a responsibility to acknowledge and ameliorate any imbalances this may cause in order for members, partners and stakeholders to thrive.
The diversity of opinion and voices in the social enterprise community can help us face our greatest challenges and collaborate to create innovative change for a brighter future.
At SENVIC we value diversity – diversity of gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, thought, urban-rural, marital status, life experience, and more.We believe greater diversity brings greater strength. Better, more inclusive decisions are made with diverse perspectives and lived experiences.
We believe in the premise of “nothing about us, without us”. That means when working with people who identify with a particular group or groups, we do not make decisions without seeking to understand the views of the groups affected by our actions.
We aim to reflect our community in the make-up of our Board and our team members, and will actively consider diversity in our recruitment processes and engagement with members and stakeholders.
Putting First Nations First
SENVIC proudly acknowledges the First People and traditional owners of country and pays respect to past, present and emerging Elders. Since time immemorial, Victorian Traditional Owners have practiced their laws, customs and languages and nurtured the country. Sovereignty was never ceded.
Through the strength, resilience and pride of our First Peoples, their cultures, communities and economies endure and continue to grow and thrive today. SENVIC acknowledges the significant leadership and innovation demonstrated by Aboriginal-controlled organisations and businesses, and seeks to champion and learn their achievements to create a fairer, more inclusive and regenerative society. We are fortunate to have over 70,000 years of First People knowledge to guide our path towards a better future.
We believe it’s unacceptable that the impacts of colonisation and intergenerational trauma continue to manifest in systemic discrimination and marginalisation. We have a responsibility to be part of this change.
As many Indigenous Businesses are also social enterprises, SENVIC is committed to leading a sector-wide journey to explore and strengthen our relationship with the First People and country, where we are fortunate to live.
SENVIC is committed to developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for Victoria’s social enterprise community. We will seek leaders in our membership to join a core Working Group to drive the RAP process, and a wider working party with a diverse membership to drive the development of the RAP at key stages in the year ahead. Holding accountable to our principles and concepts, we aim to listen, acknowledge and take equitable action to ensure we create a supportive ecosystem for Indienous-led social enterprises to thrive.
While the RAP is being developed, SENVIC aims to action our commitment to putting First Nations first where we can, by prioritising a Welcome to Country in large events and engagements where possible.
The RAP will not only benefit SENVIC staff and our key partners, our intention is to demystify the process and encourage our wider membership to take their organisations and communities on this journey.
Valuing Lived Experience
SENVIC is committed to actively listening to the diverse voices and lived experiences of our members, board and employees, and having integrity in embedding equitable and inclusive practices in our engagements. We believe this equitable approach leads us to more innovative ideas, better decisions, greater support for outcomes, and greater opportunities for communities to thrive symbiotically.
We are committed to promoting equity of voices and inclusive spaces for those voices to be heard. We recognise that it is not the job of community members facing barriers to participation to bear the burden of advocating for change. We are committed to listening with openness and compassion, to provide support where we are able, and to creating a safe and respectful community for all.
Inclusion is integral to ethical and effective member engagement because there are diverse experiences in our community, whose perspectives and preferences should be welcomed and explored.
By actively creating a safe and inclusive environment where feedback is welcomed, considered and embraced with integrity and accountability, diversity of thought and experiences can flourish. From there, we can generate more equitable and considered outcomes for all members.
Belonging and mutual understanding
When diverse perspectives are sought and tensions are openly discussed in safe spaces, decision-makers have more balanced advice and information. We believe that the most effective way to address issues of privilege and systemic bias is to create safe spaces, speak about them and take personal and collective responsibility to change them.
Traditional engagement channels may systematically obscure opinions or exclude hard-to-reach communities. We are committed to providing multiple ways for our members and stakeholders to connect, communicate and interact with us to reduce barriers to participation.
Engagement that brings in diverse voices builds lasting relationships. When people see diverse perspectives reflected and represented in decision-making processes, it creates a sense of belonging and mutual understanding.
We aim to ensure SENVIC is a place of respect and belonging for all people and enterprises with a social purpose