John Deere Australia and New Zealand has become one of six employers to receive the Inclusive Employer Status award from Diversity Council Australia for a third time — making it a hat-trick for the machinery dealer over the past three years. John Deere received the Inclusive Employer Status award for 2023-24, as well as in 2021-22 and 2022-23, in recognition of the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. It was one of 82 employers to earn a place on the list, after proving its commitment to diversity and inclusion by having employees complete an in-depth survey to map the state of inclusion in their workplace and producing results that exceeded national benchmarks on a series of key measures. John Deere Australia and NZ managing director Luke Chandler said achieving Inclusive Employer Status for the third year in a row was a proud moment. “Each year, this assessment has provided us with valuable insight on where to focus our efforts to ensure we offer an inclusive workplace for everyone,” Mr Chandler said. As head of people and culture at John Deere Australia and NZ, Camilla Kelly has led the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion journey. “DEI is multi-layered, requiring time, dedication and a holistic approach to fully understand its complexities,” Ms Kelly said. “It can challenge deeply held beliefs and raise difficult questions. It’s not about checkboxes or quotas, but rather it’s interwoven in everything we do and everything we want to be. “We have taken the time and energy to expand knowledge across the company — not just talk.” Ms Kelly said the company’s policies, talent selection criteria and workplace practices had been updated, including introducing industry-leading gender-neutral parental leave. John Deere’s Australia Aftermarket team recently led such an initiative, holding an event at the Brisbane office to celebrate World Inclusion Day. Staff were encouraged to share their personal stories, food from their cultural backgrounds, and discuss perspectives on what inclusion means to them. With innovation as one of John Deere’s key values, Ms Kelly said diversity and inclusion was paramount to the company’s success. “As a smart industrial company, we need both diverse talent and an inclusive culture to develop this competitive advantage,” she said.