Media Diversity Australia’s CEO named the country’s most influential Asian-Australian

Media Diversity Australia’s chief executive officer, Mariam Veiszadeh, has been named Australia’s most influential young Asian-Australian at the Asian-Australian Leadership Awards this week.

The announcement:

The country’s most influential Asian-Australians have been recognised in the Asian-Australian Leadership Awards, while experts call out the lack of cultural diversity and opportunity in workplaces.

Media Diversity Australia’s chief executive officer, Mariam Veiszadeh has been recognised as the country’s most influential young Asian-Australian.

The accolade comes as new data shows when applying for jobs, ethnic minorities received half as many call backs from recruiters than applicants with English names.

“When social injustice smacks you in the face, you have no choice but to tackle it head on,” Veiszadeh said.

“I am the inaugural CEO of Media Diversity Australia, working alongside media executives to work towards a media landscape that looks and sounds more like the Australia it seeks to serve.

“I have been at the forefront of advocating for systemic change across Australian media to stamp out racism.

“My career trajectory has only been partly deliberate. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer and tackle injustice, but I didn’t consciously sign up to become an anti-racism advocate, engage in human rights work, become a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practitioner or be appointed into a CEO position,” Veiszadeh said.

Asialink CEO Martine Letts says one in five people in Australia have an Asian cultural heritage, yet only 3% of senior management positions are held by Asian-Australians.

“It’s not only in the boardroom where this bias exists, it extends across all industries,” says Ms Letts.

“The awards shine a light on the incredible leadership talent and potential of Asian-Australians – but there is still a long way to go,” she adds.

“There is a real lack in recognition of and focus on leveraging Asian-Australian grown talent.”

“If overseas markets are more attractive to talent from multicultural backgrounds we risk losing our best and brightest.”

New data from leading executive search firm Johnson Partners found that 93% of board members on ASX-listed companies have either an Anglo-Celtic or European background, while 94% of top CEOs are of white Anglo-Celtic or European heritage.

“We need to see a significant shift in corporate Australia’s approach to cultural diversity. It is not only the right thing to do but also critical to unlocking the full potential of our economy,” says Jason Johnson, Founder & CEO of Johnson Partners.

“Companies that embrace diversity and foster an inclusive culture will be better placed to navigate an increasingly globalised business environment and increasingly diverse customer sets and stakeholders,” adds Mr Johnson.

“The ‘bamboo ceiling’ is preventing Asian-Australians from taking their share of top leadership positions in our major companies, government departments and universities not reflecting their staff, student populations or customer bases.”

“The pandemic caused many diversity statistics to go backwards, so we have some serious ground to make up to address the under-representation of diverse leaders.”

Source: In The Media PR


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.