Cultural Diversity Week is Australia’s largest multicultural celebration which features an array of events across metropolitan and regional areas to embrace our cultural diversity. From a business point of view, we sat down with CEO of ANL Shane Walden to discuss the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace.

“A diverse workplace is a crucial asset, as it highlights the individual strengths of each employee, and allows fresh perspectives for business innovation,” says Shane. As today’s world continues to become more globalised and interconnected, specifically within the maritime industry, ANL’s CEO believes this delivers a number of benefits for businesses ranging from creativity and productivity, through to cultural awareness and opportunity.

“Being in an industry that operates 24/7 on a global scale, the benefits derived from a diverse and inclusive workplace are essential to the success of our business. By employing a team of various backgrounds and cultures, this generates a broader range of skills, experiences and perspectives which cannot necessarily be taught ‘on the job… It’s these combinations that deliver dynamic, ‘out of the square’ ideas, which offer the best solutions to our business challenges.”

ANL operates services throughout the Pacific Islands, Asia, Australia and New Zealand making cultural awareness paramount to our day-to- day business, so our teams are well-equipped to manage and overcome certain barriers such as language, practices and procedures.

Having immersed himself in several roles Shane gained valuable cultural learnings during his postings in Marseille and Hong Kong.

“ANL is a business that loves to learn, and there is nothing more valuable than learning from your peers. By understanding the perspective of others on what we can do to make ourselves better, and opening the opportunity to grow, this creates a collaborative, engaged and stimulated work environment where staff continue to acquire knowledge not only from the top down, but from their coworkers.”

“Valuing the differences of others is what ultimately brings us together, and that is the key to a thriving workplace,” says Mr. Walden.