HR needs to practise what it preaches on diversity

Diversity is one of HR’s favourite topics, but should HR really be its guardian? How can HR provide a service to diverse organisations when those making the decisions and formulating policies are mainly white?

We are all governed by our life experiences and cultures, and this shows in company policies. For example, in the Afro-Caribbean community – which is an extended community – it is not unusual to wish to go to the funerals of close family friends, aunts, uncles, friends’ parents/siblings, etc.

Unfortunately, in most organisations, granting leave to attend funerals only extends to a person’s immediate family. This causes a lot of pain and anxiety among those who are not permitted to take time off to show their respects. This is not an issue for the host community in the UK, who generally do not attend funerals unless invited.

I’ve also noticed that most of the teams put up for various award schemes have virtually no ethnic minority representation. And nearly all of the opinions expressed in the HR field come from white men and women.

Where are the senior officers from ethnic minorities who could also express a view? There are some around.

HR should try harder to practise the diversity it preaches.


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