Good diversity practices should not be seen as an overhead, but I suspect they sometimes are – particularly when times are tough.
Phillippa Williamson, Chief Executive, Serious Fraud Office
Effective management of diversity is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations today, and probably the issue that also causes the most difficulty and discomfort for managers on the front line.
There’s no question that organisations that successfully exploit the diverse talents in their workforce are always going to be ahead of the game. They will be better placed to compete on the global stage, better equipped to understand and capture new markets, and more able to maximise opportunities as we emerge from recession. Sadly, however, many organisations have not yet recognised the power they can leverage from a positive approach to managing diversity.
The Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI’s) position on this is that while we are not in favour of discrimination, we are in favour of positive actions. Why?
The problem is twofold:
• In many businesses, working practices have not evolved in tandem with the changes taking place in our society. Women now make up 46% of the UK’s workforce, ethnic minorities account for an estimated 90% of the growth in the working age population and more than a quarter of people in the workforce are aged 50 or over. Yet organisations still persist in rigid, inflexible ways of working that are completely out of tune with the desires, ...

Get Managers and Leaders Who Can: How you survive and succeed in the new economy now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.