We welcome two independent directors for a greater emphasis on diversity.
Faced with a much needed and growing emphasis on the value of designing more inclusive outcomes, we are delighted to announce the appointment of independent directors Ziena Jalil and Diana Puketapu to help shape its future.
As a human-centred design consultancy we have always worked to make the experiences, products and services we deliver both relevant and valuable for users – increasingly, we’ll also need to and better address the barriers that restrict or exclude many. We believe the experience our new directors bring will greatly assist us in that goal.
Diversity in New Zealand.
Māori, Pacific people, Asian, and other communities are all growing as a proportion of the population. There are as many as ten distinct and substantial ethnicity or population groups that are predicted to be larger than those identifying as Pakeha within 15 years. We are already diverse, but in urban and rural New Zealand, we will continue to look different, sound different, think differently and have broader perspectives. More of us will not have been born here – and many of us will identify with multiple communities or cohorts.
Our differences make us who we are collectively, and our future will require us to acknowledge past wrongs, exclusion, injustices and injury. We won’t always agree, and we don’t share the same perspectives or values. But we are bound by many of the same problems – and the pressure is building as the challenges we are facing as Kiwis and global citizens are not getting smaller, less significant or any less pressing.
With ever-increasing diversity, there are needs to be acknowledged, different values to be understood, different pressures to resolve, and wide-ranging history and experiences to reconcile. We will need to embrace our makeup, be more open to where we are going and agree on how we want to get there – together.
Hand in hand with diversity comes inclusivity. By acknowledging diversity, we recognise the differences (both seen and unseen), where inclusivity requires treating people equally. Sounds simple, but it's harder to deliver.
It’s important to consider diversity as a multi-faceted concept – cultural diversity is but one measure of who we are and how we are evolving. Gender, age, belief, sexuality, ability, location, socio-economic (and others) all make their mark – along with the need to improve accessibility and inclusivity, which have come into sharper focus in the last year.
Designing a better and more inclusive future.
Designing for diversity allows people to be different and accounts for those differences in the way we deliver to and enable them. Designing for inclusivity demands that a person can be themselves, is made welcome, feels respected and is demonstrably treated equitably.
The impacts for organisations are myriad and challenges include accessing insights on what different Kiwis think, understanding their priorities and needs, and designing services and products to meet those needs. It also means recognising and addressing how legacy perceptions, barriers and biases have left people excluded, vulnerable or underserved.
All organisations in New Zealand will need to deal with this and what it means for their staff, communities, customers and stakeholders – one size does not fit all.
DNA is a purpose-driven organisation that seeks to improve outcomes for New Zealanders through our work with our clients. As a business, we look to impact sustainability, productivity and inclusivity for our clients and their customers.
We recognise the speed at which New Zealand is changing and we are continually evolving our use of design thinking and practice capability to ensure we can unlock insight and design solutions to the problems all Kiwi's are facing.
As well as improvements and enhancements in our design practice, hiring and partnerships, we also recognised the need to bring a greater diversity of experience to our strategic leadership and Board.
We welcome our new directors who are an important part of addressing diversity. Ziena and Diana bring considerable strategic, commercial and governance experience to the Board while also enabling a more confident and informed conversation about diversity and inclusivity.
For more information about our new directors and about how we are designing for inclusivity then please get in touch.
Diana brings to DNA a diverse breadth of local and global experience. She has a background in corporate New Zealand, and her career has included Chief Financial Officer for professional America's Cup sailing teams across two America's Cup campaigns. She established and ran global and local businesses for these teams.
Diana currently sits on the Boards of Napier Port Holdings, Ngati Porou Holdings, crown owned entity Tamaki Regeneration Company and privately owned Manawanui Support Limited. She is on the Boards of both the New Zealand Olympic Committee and New Zealand Cricket.
With a career ranging from diplomat to business leader to entrepreneur across New Zealand and Asia, Ziena draws on a rich experience of many worlds to bring equity and opportunity to those with diverse cultures, abilities and experiences.
Ziena consults on strategy, communications and stakeholder engagement; and is a keynote speaker, facilitator and commentator on topics including diversity and inclusion, Asia business, leadership and politics. Ziena is a board member of Manukau Institute of Technology, Unitec, and the Cancer Society Auckland and Northland.