Diversity approaches will prove valuable

Compliance training has been a major preoccupation of the past few months, as sectors such as the financial services industry (see news opposite) quite rightly put that extra effort into impressing and reassuring their customers.

But one area where it will pay to think beyond compliance as a motivator is in the field of diversity.

Here, people development specialists can make their mark by putting senior managers under pressure to fund training that looks beyond compliance, to a horizon that takes in issues of difference such as values and functions. Indeed, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and

Development, as discussed in Analysis on page 12, is about to publish its own revamped definition of diversity, which looks at these bigger concepts.

Across the Atlantic, there is also a trend emerging for diversity to be seen in a wider context. As we were going to press, the American Society for

Training and Development published advice encouraging organisations to create diversity training which celebrates similarities, rather than differences. As it points out, even in organisations that don’t yet operate internationally, workplace teams are diverse by definition, incorporating differences across many dimensions.

If the ethical arguments aren’t enough, organisations should also point out to their budget holders that diversity initiatives are increasingly attracting publicity. With organisations such as Stonewall compiling and publishing a Corporate Equality Index earlier this year, it is becoming obvious that organisations will soon be judged as much on their diversity practices as on their share price or efficiency.

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