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Actor Meryl Streep stands at a podium on stage at the Oscars

Recently, at the Golden Globes, during her acceptance speech, Meryl Streep, in an unnamed accusation, highlighted the incident where Donald Trump, the US President-elect, mocked a reporter with a disability.

There was huge outcry from media, celebrities and the general public. Donald Trump retaliated saying that Meryl was ‘overrated’ and denied mocking the reporter.

Whatever your thoughts about Meryl Streep, Donald Trump and Hollywood in general, she did raise some very important points. If a person in a position of leadership, of power, can humiliate by mocking an individual in such a public forum, where they are unable to defend themselves, then what hope do the underrepresented in society have? 

Humiliation is a form of bullying. If leaders are doing it, then others perceive it as an acceptable form of behaviour, giving permission to do it. 

For too long, mocking, bullying and humiliation have been rife in society. Yes, there are certain attributes that make a leader such as confidence, stoicism and passion, yet there are so many other attributes that make a great leader such as open-mindedness, integrity and inspiration. 

Perhaps some of the best leaders are those from a diverse background, where their abilities outweighed their disabilities. From large companies such as the founder of Braun Corporations to previous US President Roosevelt, knowing what opportunities inclusiveness brought made them great leaders, which is something that perhaps some of today’s leaders should think about implementing. 

Luckily here in Australia, we are seeing far more stories about embracing diversity and greater rates of inclusiveness. Leaders, please take note: embrace diversity, realise that every person has different strengths and that there is opportunity to grow in every strength, whereby no opportunity is missed.

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