I’m Grazia Pecoraro, Principal Consultant & Founder of Perspective Hive Diversity & Communication Consulting based in Sydney, Australia.
I’ve built and delivered award-winning inclusion and diversity programs that have been recognised as Australia’s best through a range of industry awards. My distinguishing diversity consulting capability is that I have practical experience in implementing
inclusion & diversity outcomes in large and complex businesses and from a global career working for some of the world’s biggest brands. Talking diversity strategy is important but it’s knowing how to work with people in the business to embed it, project manage initiatives and communicate the change is where real outcomes happen.
My international public relations, communications and reputation management background working for iconic technology brands such as Apple, Microsoft and IBM are a powerful offering and unique capability, combined with over seven years’ experience in creating and managing diversity outcomes that drive real business value in Australia.
These are some of my career highlights and if you want to explore the detail, you can read my full LinkedIn profile. I’m also available for speaking engagements on inclusion as part of my diversity consulting offering.
- Pushed the boundaries of designing Westpac’s Barangaroo campus beyond the prescriptions of the Australian Building Code. Created an intuitively accessible experience for employees and guests. Nifty features such as tactile signage and inclusively-designed kitchens have been embedded in the Design for Dignity Guidelines (co-developed with LendLease and the Australian Network on Disability). This won the 2016 Australian Human Rights Award as outstanding business practice, one of my career highlights.
- Delivering programs of work that supported Westpac Group’s target of having 50% of women in leadership by 2017. Started at 33% in 2010 and was achieved in 2017. Included building strategic business partnerships in HR and the business to create outcomes that change culture, hiring and talent management practices.
- Developed and roles out ‘All In Flex’ where all new and existing roles in Westpac could be considered to be done flexibly. This had a major impact – in 2014, 63% employees were working flexibly and by 2016 it had risen to 74%.
- Established and managed nine Employee Action Groups, such as ABLE (supporting people with disability) that delivered strategic business value including the launch of Auslan interpreting services for customers wanting to have wealth and planning conversations.
- Managed change and drove reputation value by establishing communications strategies delivering education, profiling and story telling for companies including Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Gartner, Cisco and British Telecommunications.
Why I established Perspective Hive
I believe that you get to choose in life. You can make each decision or interaction a positive experience, or one that perpetuates thinking and patterns that are hurtful or unhelpful.
This is why I’ve created a diversity consulting hub of expertise that helps companies value difference and where difference creates business value. I want to work with companies that think differently about difference.
After working for 10.5 years at Westpac in internal communications roles as well as leading several practices in the Inclusion & Diversity team, I was inspired to help more businesses benefit from creating impactful diversity, inclusion and flexibility outcomes like I have delivered in the banking and financial services sector. The broad range of industries I’ve consulted to include education, transport, medical / healthcare and government.
I offer experience in creating company cultures where people don’t have to put their energy into masking their differences, but instead can think big and share their best ideas. Where they feel a sense of belonging and respect for the uniqueness they bring to work with them.
Because when done right, inclusion programs not only help individuals excel in their careers or have the potential to change society, but they are also good for business. Good, global research shows a whole lot of benefits – from increasing a whole range of outcomes from innovation and productivity, to wellbeing and engagement.
Why inclusion & diversity is my calling
I grew up in South Africa during the height of apartheid. It was an evil and shameful period in history, yet I was unaware of the privilege that I had been bestowed upon purely by being born into a family of ‘white’ parents (my dad being an Italian migrant was viewed with suspicion by some but he was deemed to pass the colour credentials).
My perception shift came during the second-last year of high school where I was selected to be part of a youth leadership program and travel around the country in a specially-fitted out train as part of a national reconciliation program. Nelson Mandela had been released from prison the year before and the country was starting to focus on change ahead of his presidency.
I journeyed for nine days with 60 students from other schools, attending lectures and having debates and discussions, while learning more about the land and its people.
This was my first interaction, at the age of 16, with peers who were not from my background and it deeply moved and changed me. It changed my perception of fairness. When I returned I was not the same young woman whom my parents had dropped off at the station just over a week before
It was as if a fog of bias and discrimination that influenced my thoughts had been burnt away by the blistering light of understanding the impact of the opposite of inclusion – legalised, regulated and endorsed exclusion. I had been given a chance to sit and talk with, dance and sing with, as well as shake the hands of people who were persecuted for being different, yet they did not hate me.
I also live with a sight impairment of being legally blind without my glasses. Going into adulthood and moving to Australia in 2000 after being a successful international transfer program applicant with PR firm Text 100, where I then became an outsider as an emigrant, further fuelled my quest to learn and understand more about difference and identity. Whether that’s being from a different school. Or from a different culture. Having a disability. Identifying as LGBTI or an Indigenous Australian. Having a different gender or being a different age to everyone else. Or having to get assistance in certain situations because you’re not able to see without your glasses, such as when getting through the automated airport security scanners…
I can’t right the wrongs of the past. But I believe that we can choose to make a positive impact, even in the smallest of ways. And Perspective Hive is how I help others change they way they do business, so that difference becomes an asset.
Curious to know me better?
When I’m not enjoying creating diversity outcomes for Perspective Hive, you’ll find me gardening, cooking low carb and sugar-free meals and brewing my own kombucha & sauerkraut, where I put successful creations on my @Stuffyoudiabetes Instagram channel, crocheting, reading, dreaming of and planning my next holiday, writing articles (some of which have been published including Holes in the Universe on Mamamia and guest blogging on topics I’m passionate about like inclusive language) and working on my slow-burn novel, catching up with friends, hanging out with my husband Michael or walking in nature for enjoyment.
|Perspective Hive is registered business name of Innotwist Pty Ltd ABN: 99 07 89 80 524
Current business insurance includes: Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Workers’ Compensation.