Today’s business is running within and for the global market. Organisations are serving to the global market and getting services from the international workforce. So the company employ a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds etc. Such team is better able to understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves and is thus better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company that has a more limited range of employee demographics.
Example: Ireland’s Office of Health Management has created a vision for diversity that clearly and powerfully explains the key aims for all health employees in the country. It looks at both issues of legal compliance, and the great financial and strategic benefits of managing Diversity Management effectively.
The guiding principle in managing diversity lies in providing equal employment opportunity that refers to employment practices that ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, colour, national origin, physical or mental ability, medical condition, ancestry, or age. The basic of equal employment opportunity is that everyone should have the same access to existing opportunities. Thus, for managing diversity HR manager should fulfil certain responsibilities.
These include ensuring bias-free selection processes by forming diverse selection committees, evaluating candidates on job-related criteria, and completing and maintaining necessary records such as the Interview Data Form. Promote accountability for equal employment opportunity by ensuring that responsibility in this area is clearly indicated in the applicable job descriptions of managers and supervisors. Maintain a hospitable work environment, harassment of any kind should not be tolerated. Review all personnel activities for potential differential impacts on different groups and unintentional bias in such personnel actions as selection, salary increases, promotion, reclassification, layoff, corrective action, training, and termination. Encourage and invest in human resource development, ensuring that all staff have access to opportunities.
Diversity Management and Affirmative Action Programmes
An affirmative action programme refers to policies and programmes that take race, ethnicity, or gender into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity. The purpose of affirmative action is to ensure equal employment opportunity by preventing discrimination in employment practices. Specifically, affirmative action requires employers to implement affirmative action plans to assure equal employment opportunity for underutilised minorities and women, people with disabilities etc. The impetus towards affirmative action is twofold: to maximise diversity at all levels of society, along with its presumed benefits, and to redress perceived disadvantages due to overt, institutional, or involuntary discrimination.
The advantage of affirmative action programme is to employ and retain a diverse workforce of the best-qualified individuals. As affirmative action is a set of specific, results -oriented programs and activities designed to correct underutilization of minorities and women in the workplace. In other words, it forbids employment discrimination. It requires the elimination of any bias in personnel activities.
An affirmative action program contains quantitative analyses designed to evaluate the composition of an organisation’s workforce and compare it to the composition of the relevant external labour pools. The principle of affirmative action is to treat unequal as equals. Affirmative action is seen in many countries, especially in democratic societies such as India. It seeks to redress imbalances, due to the disproportionate representation of underprivileged sections of society in the workforce.