Diversity divas need to sing about the benefits

As our story on page 4 points out, employment minister Stephen Timms is urging HR “to recognise and embrace the scale of the opportunity that an approach to greater diversity in recruitment can provide”. While most in HR recognise the opportunities greater diversity can deliver, few employers have fully embraced them.

It’s fair to say that HR has sometimes struggled to get buy-in from the rest of the organisation (see ‘Trade secrets’ on page 28 for tips on how to do this).

And now the debate over whether HR be stripped of its diversity role – which has been hotting up in Personnel Today over the past few months – has moved on with Gill Rider adding fuel to the debate by recommending that, for chief executives to take diversity seriously, it should be taken out of HR. At the same time, it seems that support for a separate diversity body is waning.

Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, it’s encouraging that many organisations are making great strides in the diversity arena. Granted, some companies are just scratching the surface, but others are going all out to include diversity as an integral part of their organisation’s strategy and tying diversity objectives into their performance management systems.

I recently took part in the judging process for the Opportunity Now workplace awards for gender equality, diversity and inclusion and witnessed first hand some of the fantastic initiatives and commitment that companies have been demonstrating. But I believe more firms should be shouting about their achievements. Surely it’s about time HR deserved some more credit for these initiatives?

This week marks the launch of our Award for Diversity in the Workplace (see page 19), one of the 14 categories in the 2008 Personnel Today awards. So if you’ve been making an impact, put your organisation forward – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

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