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The critical success factors for an effective diversity intervention

From our broad, international experience we know that the following are critical success factors for an effective diversity intervention that unlocks extra commercial advantage for the business:

  • An equalities and diversity statement signalling that the issue is central to achieving business imperatives.
  • Talent management policies and supporting practices which create a level playing field for all by being free of hidden, or unwitting, implementation biases.
  • A concept of diversity which recognises that in any organisation in any culture there are historically disadvantaged groups, e.g. women, ethnic minorities, disabled people, older and younger people, lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people (LGBTs) and minority faiths. It must also recognise that until action is taken by their employers to change the dominant culture in their organisations (in Western companies usually white male, middle class, university educated, physically able and heterosexual), these groups are likely to experience barriers which stop them contributing to their fullest potential.
  • A recognition that diversity also encompasses less visible manifestations than gender, race, age, etc, such as thinking style, working style, education, social status, employment status, profession or work discipline.
  • An underpinning concept that a diverse business recognises both what is common between its people and what is unique about each one. Many organisations concentrate solely on differences and this can have the unintended effect of generating a divisive rather than an inclusive culture.
  • A diversity action plan which focuses on critical, priority, diversity issues that are aligned with business needs, and whose delivery mechanisms are underpinned by culture change methodology. This requires a means of determining the different factors that impact on people from the main identity groups, and either help or prevent them performing their best and advancing within the organisation.
  • The organisation’s diversity efforts embrace all of the principal stakeholders, e.g. employees, customers, suppliers, investors, communities and business partners.
  • The organisation’s leaders themselves are exemplars of inclusive behaviour.

 Related articles:

Gaining the top and bottom line improvements offered from effective diversity policies

Take an honest look at your business culture from a diversity perspective

Understanding what areas of diversity and inclusion already work in your business culture

Is your organisation really a 'meritocracy'?

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