Study will address diversity issue

Sir, Further to your recent articles quoting the LSC research into a professional association for diversity advisers and Trevor Phillips’ separate assertion that diversity should move out of HR, you may be interested to know about an important new study which, when its findings are announced in December, will begin to answer the need for further research cited in your article.

Full details are at the Diversity Professionals website. In brief, as one element of a wider exploration into current diversity leadership, practice and challenges, our study will for the first time provide hard evidence to illustrate the significance of positioning within HR – either as a strategic advantage or perceived hindrance – to the work of diversity professionals in achieving its full potential impact across an organisation.

Our aim is that this study’s findings will significantly enhance strategic knowledge and understanding among senior Board executives – as leading diversity champions who often also hold sway over the purse-strings – about where best to target their diversity resource investment in order to achieve the maximum strategic impact in support of the organisation’s goals, in the widest sense (not solely restricted to HR-related goals).

The results of our work will go beyond the simple question of positioning. We shall provide diversity professionals with a robust evidence base – drawn from a qualitative sample of current approaches to practice in this field – as a much-needed resource to help create more consistency and impact in the conduct of their own diversity practice; as well as seeking to inform the current topical debate over development of diversity ‘standards’.

And through comparative high-level insights (drawn from direct interviews with 17 CEOs and Board Executives in leading UK organisations) into diversity approaches that translate into real strategic gains for the whole organisation – not just for HR – we shall be able to demonstrate practical models for use at the strategic level by leaders and experts in this field:  the first time such evidence has been gathered to this end.

For further information and interview, please contact Melanie Allison – Co-Founder with Dr Gillian Shapiro of the Diversity Professionals’ Forum (responsible for funding and steering the study) on 07739 801201 or via the website.

Kind regards, Melanie Allison & Dr Gillian Shapiro, Co-Founders, Diversity Professionals’ Forum

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