How fashionable is diversity?

Molina

Molina Swarup Asthana – Convener AAA Women’s Forum (VIC)

Molina is a Principal Solicitor with the Victorian Government and the Victorian Convener for the AAAWF (VIC). She is also on the board of numerous community organisations as well as legal organisations. She has been working on the issues of cultural and gender diversity in various areas and has won the Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in 2014 for her work in this area.

There is a lot of talk about diversity these days and the benefit that diversity brings to the table in all areas, including political, social, economic growth and cultural life, of a multicultural country like Australia.

Research shows that Australian businesses are more likely to succeed in Asia if their executives have Asia capabilities, including understanding Asian cultures, markets, and business.

A recent Asialink Business Report[1] suggests that Asia capabilities are essential to the inheritancesuccess of Australian business as Asia continues to grow in importance to the Australian economy. Asia capabilities are personal and organisational qualities, skills, knowledge and attitudes that help business to work effectively with and in Asia.  They range from basic cultural understanding to advanced skills in negotiating across cultures, and detailed understanding of regulations or market trends in Asian countries.

Research shows that Australian businesses are more likely to succeed in Asia if their executives have Asia capabilities, including understanding Asian cultures, markets, and business. The links that Asian Australians have with their home countries and the fact that they can be great ambassadors for Australia is crucial to the development of any kind of Asia capability and growth of Australian economy by capitalising on the growth in Asia.

Diversity in the media and fashion industry is equally important for the economic growth of the country, particularly in the Asian century.

To this end the need for diversity in the business sector is being recognised and given importance. However what we see lacking is the promotion of diversity in the fashion industry and the media.

A recent article in the India Sun talked about the need for diversity in the media and how little opportunities exist for Indian, Asian and ethnic actors to find work in mainstream media. The fashion industry is no different. There are pageants run by particular communities for their own ethnic groups like the Miss India Australia pageant, the Miss Sri Lanka Australia pageant, the Miss Africa Pageant, however we have not seen many Asian faces in the mainstream pageants, let alone anyone winning the crown.

This year, with her sheer hard work and dedication Rashi Kapoor has made it as the Victorian State Finalist for the Miss World Australia 2015.

maximum-choppage-pics-4Diversity in the media and fashion industry is equally important for the economic growth of the country, particularly in the Asian century. It is important for securing business from Asia that Australia be seen to publicly embrace diversity and what better projection of that can there be than for an Asian face to be face of modern Australia. This will also help to portray Australia as a country that actively promotes multiculturalism and values diversity in all areas. This will also have positive impact on dwindling number of international students coming to the country.

This year, with her sheer hard work and dedication Rashi Kapoor has made it as the Victorian State Finalist for the Miss World Australia 2015. She is also the second highest fundraiser in the pageant for Variety, the Children’s Charity which she managed to secure in a short span of 10 days as compared to a much longer period taken by other finalists because of the support of the local Asian community and businesses.

rashi

This would be a great chance for Australia to promote an Asian face to represent to the world and bring the title home. Australia won the Miss World title last in 1972. More recently the title has gone to Asians with India having won the title four times, China twice and Philippines once. With the pageant being held in China this year, having an Asian face like Rashi’s can only be an advantage and perhaps the winning formula.

[1] http://asialink.unimelb.edu.au/asialink_business/business_resources/research_reports/australias-jobs-future-the-rise-of-asia-and-the-services-opportunity

Pictures sourced from: Asia Australian Film Forum and The Indian Sun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *