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Equal Opportunity & Diversity Management Slide 2 Discussion Topic Is there a business case for equal opportunities and diversity management at the workplace? Slide 3 What is the Business Case? A structured proposal for business change Justified in terms of costs and benefits Addresses the business need that the project seeks to resolve reasons for the project expected business benefits the options considered expected costs of the project a gap analysis expected risks Slide 4 Equal Opportunity (EO) Equal opportunity policies can be seen as an attempt to eradicate consideration of social differences from organizational decision-making using bureaucratic means (Liff, 1999). Slide 5 Equal Opportunities Initiatives As stated by Dickens, EO initiatives concern policy and practice designed to tackle the differential distribution of opportunities, resources and rewards between workers, usually based on their membership of a social group. Equality commissions: Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Disability Rights Commission (DRC) Slide 6 Reasons for Implementing Equal Opportunity Positive Pursuit of Organization Benefits Penalty avoidance through legal compliance Slide 7 Positive Pursuit of Organization Benefits The image of a good employer - improving recruitment - better retention of existing staff Organizational Effectiveness - lower turnover rates - better employment relations - greater creativity Slide 8 Avoidance of Lawsuits Extensive national legislation Wider scope of the anti-discrimination legislation Dealing with lawsuits are costly! Slide 9 Problems of translating EO prescription into practice Work is a place where identities are shaped and lived out Divisions between disadvantaged groups Human resource concepts and policies disseminate workplace inequality Slide 10 Rhetoric and Reality of HRM Critical and empirically-based evaluations of HRM indicate a reality which includes: - work intensification - job segregation Thus, HRM emerges as bad news for workers (Dickens). How does HRM facilitate inequality? Examine through two important concepts in the HRM model (Guest, 1987): Commitment Flexibility Slide 11 Distinction Between EO & Diversity paradigm Work Foundation (formerly the Industrial Society) suggests that: Where equality policies open doors, policies designed to value diversity offer a more strategic way of moving the business forward, backed up by a strong business and ethical case. Valuing diversity goes further than equality (Barmes and Ashtiany, 2003). Equal opportunities policies are legislation led, remedial and based on the assumption that minority groups will assimilate into the dominant culture. Valuing diversity is visionary in aiming to create a positive work environment in which everyone benefits and can work to their full potential in pursuit of organisational goals, aims and objectives. Slide 12 Diversity Management Definition: Requires an appreciation that people are different Emphasize managerial skills and policies Optimize each employees contribution to the overall organizational goals Enhance organizational morale, productivity and benefits Slide 13 Types of Diversity 1. Superficial or Surface-Level" Diversity e.g. differences in Gender, Nationality 2. Deep-Level" Diversity e.g. differences in knowledge, differences in values Slide 14 Business Case of Diversity Mirrors the demographics of the marketplace in a global and diverse marketplace (In a global and diverse marketplace, a company whose race and sex composition mirrors the demographics of the marketplace it serves is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company whose appearance is different from its market's appearance). Slide 15 Why Diversity Management? Believe differences can bring sustained business advantage through good management practice Survive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace Slide 16 Expected Benefits from Diversity Management Addressing Skill Deficiencies Improve Team Effectiveness Managing Change Recruitment and Retention of Staff Reflecting Diversity of Customer Base Opportunity to Create and Develop Inter- organizational Relationships Increase flexibility - necessary for survival Reduced Risk of litigation Slide 17 Conclusion There is a business case for equal opportunity and diversity management at the workplace


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