Motor giant Ford has won a reprieve from an investigation by a government equality watchdog into race discrimination at its Dagenham plant.
The Commission for Racial Equality has agreed to Ford’s plan for a race equality practices review, which must lead to an action plan by 12 April.
Ford’s national diversity manager Kamaljeet Jandu, who is heading the drive to change the culture at the company, said the review has three elements. These are a review of present written policies to see how they can be improved; a baseline audit of all 12 factories in Britain; and an examination of Ford’s monitoring data with a view to improving the monitoring of race equality.
In the audit Ford will look at how race equality has been integrated into policy and planning, the selection of staff, developing and retaining staff, internal communication, whether staff feel they have a stake in the company and auditing for race equality.
Jandu said, “To assess the impact of policy we’re going to establish focus groups at those sites to assess employees’ views.”
Changing the culture at Ford is an “ongoing and long-term” process, said Jandu. “You have to acknowledge there is a problem, then provide the leadership and resources to change, engaging different layers of the company, including the trade unions. They will have a key role.”
Last month Personnel Today reported that the CRE would suspend an immediate investigation if Ford’s plan met with its approval (News, 5 September).