Most people would like to eliminate extra work. The problem, according to Boeing LGBTQIA+ advocate David Dawson, is that they often don’t know how to start.

“You can’t have productivity without inclusivity,” David said. “Everyone has to have a seat at the table and feel comfortable sharing their voice.”

David, a business improvement specialist in Brisbane, Australia, has helped teammates eliminate more than 200,000 hours of unnecessary work in the past two years.

During a recent workshop, he taught concepts employees can apply to make their jobs easier and the outcomes more effective, and coached participants as they solved simulated and real work challenges. Many of the suggestions employees made, such as adding production visual aids, were later implemented in the workplace.

“Productivity is a habit you build and a way of life,” he said.

David used his voice as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community to co-found and help expand his local chapter of the Boeing Employees Pride Alliance Business Resource Group, supporting LGBTQIA+ teammates and allies in the Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and Asia Pacific regions. He also played a key role in developing Boeing Australia’s gender affirmation policy, which includes team education and benefits such as paid time off for key medical procedures.

four people in front of a laptop
From left to right, David and his teammates, Libby Tarr, Nicholas Pinder and Katie Johnson discuss (Photo courtesy of Bruce Gibson).

“David makes everyone feel valued,” said Stephen Haddow, a colleague. “Whether advocating for safe and inclusive spaces, or seeking out and acting on ways to improve the business, he helps people express their true selves. That improves both morale and outcomes.”

David has led efficiency projects throughout his 20-year career with our company, and he emphasizes the path to productivity starts with people.

David said anyone can be more productive at work or in life by applying the basic concepts of inclusivity. He advises people to work smarter in three ways:

1. Invite everyone to the conversation — Solving problems starts with bringing people together. The only way to know what is and isn’t working is to be sure everyone involved in the work shares their perspectives.

2. Listen and learn — Spend more time listening than talking. Seek to understand the hurdles, but also ask for ideas. The person raising an issue might know the solution but not feel comfortable making a suggestion. Be sure to ask.

3. Act on what you learn — Nothing motivates people like feeling seen, heard and valued. Act on the feedback you receive. People will notice when their ideas are embraced and be more likely to contribute in the future.

Learn more about our efforts to advance global equity, diversity and inclusion.