In this lesson, students explore how workplace and systemic structures can impact their employees or stakeholders. They investigate how diversity can benefit business and society and, likewise, how businesses can adapt their systems to create a better work/life balance for all their workers. Students will then create a business or project plan to improve diversity in STEMM fields, taking inspiration from Fabian Dattner’s Homeward Bound project, documented in the film, The Leadership.
It is highly recommended that this lesson is conducted after students have completed The Leadership: Viewing And Responding To The Film – English – Year 10. Please be mindful that this lesson handles difficult topics and may impact different students in different ways. Please ensure students have access to confidential support if they need it.
The Leadership is rated M for mature audiences and contains coarse language and themes of sexual harassment and abuse. Consider whether viewing this film or clips is appropriate for your students.
- that workplace and systemic structures impact upon whether diversity thrives in a particular industry/environment or not
- how diversity in the workplace can improve outcomes for everyone and lead to innovation
- the responsibilities of workplaces to make room for diversity and encourage new ways of working to overcome systemic barriers.
- identify systemic barriers that impact on the capacity of an organisation or industry to maintain diversity in their workforce
- create a business plan that improves diversity in an organisation or industry while also improving business outcomes.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education:
- Investigate how empathy and ethical decision making contribute to respectful relationships (ACPPS093)
- Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS096)
- Critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities (ACPPS098)
Year 10 Work Studies:
- Complete an action project utilising entrepreneurial behaviours to address an identified challenge or opportunity (ACWSCL031)
- Explain how diverse work arrangements are impacting on the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers (ACWSCL039)
Year 10 Economics and Business (optional):
- The ways businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity through organisational management and workforce management (ACHEK054)
- Generate a range of viable options in response to an economic or business issue or event, use cost-benefit analysis and appropriate criteria to recommend and justify a course of action and predict the potential consequences of the proposed action (ACHES058)
- Reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of economic and business decisions (ACHES061)
Relevant parts of Years 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education achievement standards:
Students critically analyse contextual factors that influence identities, relationships, decisions and behaviours. They analyse the impact attitudes and beliefs about diversity have on community connection and wellbeing.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Work Studies achievement standards:
Students explain the relationship between changing circumstances, learning and 21st century work opportunities and identify the skills needed to manage changes. They analyse emerging 21st century work arrangements and the resultant changing relationships between participants, the opportunities arising and the skills needed for these emerging work arrangements. Students explain the benefits of different cultural perspectives in managing work and problem-solving. Students process the skills required to manage change and transition. They apply entrepreneurial skills to plan, implement and complete a negotiated action project. Students evaluate their findings, propose actions, make recommendations and present these to an audience of stakeholders. Students collect and interpret information on different cultural approaches to ways of working. They explain the importance of culturally diverse workplaces to managing work, work relationships and productivity.
Relevant parts of Year 10 Economics and Business achievement standards (optional):
Students explain how businesses respond to changing economic conditions and improve productivity. Students evaluate the effect of organisational and workforce management on business performance. Students generate alternative responses to an issue, taking into account multiple perspectives. They use cost-benefit analysis and appropriate criteria to propose and justify a course of action.
Time required: 105+ mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will need to lead discussions and activities. Less intensive guidance is needed for the business plan component
This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:
- Critical thinking
- Cultural understanding
- Ethical understanding
- Social skills
- Problem solving
About The Leadership:
The Leadership is a feature-length documentary film directed by Ili Baré and produced by Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions.
The world is crying out for a new model of leadership, but what is it? One woman thinks she has the answer. Australian CEO and ‘dreamer’, Fabian Dattner, leads an international group of 76 female scientists on an Antarctic voyage designed to transform them into the sort of leaders they want to be. Her hope is that once these women are primed to lead in science, they will be able to make meaningful change around the world. But onboard, Dattner’s own leadership style and philosophy are both severely tested, as the women’s deeply personal stories of workplace harassment and more are revealed. Set against the planet’s last untouched wilderness, The Leadership delivers an altogether unexpected and original reflection on what it takes to be a good leader while unearthing the profoundly troubling systemic obstacles to women’s advancement in science and beyond.
The Leadership is distributed by Dark Matter and premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2020. We recommend you access the film via Clickview. It is also available online on Amazon, Foxtel Rental Store, iTunes, GooglePlay, YouTube Film, Microsoft Store, Xbox Entertainment, Fetch TV, Vimeo and DocPlay. Learn more about the film: https://theleadershipfilm.org/watch/
About Homeward Bound:
Homeward Bound is a transformational leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine), from around the world.
The program has four core development components, or ‘streams’: leadership, strategy, visibility and science. These are delivered during a 12-month program, with online content and collaborative learning (11 months), and face-to-face on the ground in Ushuaia, Argentina (pre-voyage), and also on-board ship voyaging to Antarctica. Additionally, a Wellbeing Team ensures a focus on psychological safety and wellbeing throughout the program.
The key components are woven together into an integrated program, delivered by an expert global faculty. The live program is also supported by recorded content from leading experts and influencers within their fields. The program comprises lectures, personal and leadership development tools, coaching sessions, visibility training and the opportunity to develop meaningful collaborations – in forums, in teams with a focus on areas of interest, and in small diverse cohorts.
Learn more about the program’s key components and expected outcomes.
Psychology Today defines imposter syndrome as when people “believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held (source). They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others might think - and that soon enough, people will discover the truth about them. Those with imposter syndrome are often well accomplished; they may hold high office or have numerous academic degrees.” The American Psychological Association says that when people are different from their peers (due to race, gender, sexuality or other), they are more likely to experience imposter syndrome (source).
This film and associated lessons contain sensitive material that may trigger some students or cause strong emotional responses of various kinds. Teachers are strongly advised to watch the full film prior to showing it in their class and consider carefully whether this content will be suitable in their context. Please ensure you monitor all students during, directly after and for several weeks after tackling this content. Refer to the Handling Sensitive Topics And Issues Factsheet for more information.