Profiting from diversity: a guide to harnessing diversity for the benefit of your business




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НазваниеProfiting from diversity: a guide to harnessing diversity for the benefit of your business
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Creating a diversity strategy


Once you know where you want to be and where you currently are, a Diversity Strategy should be developed to bridge the gap.


A good plan will identify:


  • the business case for change

  • how the Diversity Strategy fits in with the overall business plan

  • aims and objectives

  • achievable and measurable targets

  • barriers preventing the achievement of objectives

  • steps towards removing those barriers

  • the order in which actions should be taken

  • areas of priority and quick wins

  • who is responsible for each activity

  • completion dates for each activity

  • how progress will be monitored

  • how success will be celebrated


This plan can be broken down into smaller activities, and objectives can be cascaded down through the line management chain where appropriate.


There are three main areas to consider when action planning: customer, employee and supplier diversity. Below is a brief example of a Diversity Strategy covering customer and employee diversity, although your plan will depend very much on factors specific to your company. The diversity checklist at the end also gives you some questions which may assist in developing your plan.

Diversity strategy

Business need:


  • to increase sales of product X as stated in the company business plan



Objective:


  • to make product X accessible to people with disabilities



Barriers identified:


  • no corporate knowledge of the requirements of disabled product users

  • few disabled employees

  • difficulties of access to premises for disabled people, lack of disability awareness

  • among employees



Actions to be taken and by whom:


  • Human Resources Manager to encourage applications from disabled applicants

  • Training Manager to provide disability equality training to employees

  • Product Development Manager to set up a network of disabled employees to work on developing the product and on a marketing strategy

  • Communications Manager to internally publicise activities, changes made and successes

  • Public Affairs Manager to set up partnerships with organisations representing people with disabilities to promote and support the activity



Progress measures:


  • numbers of disabled employees and managers

  • company’s share of the disabled market

  • sales of product X



Monitoring:


  • steering group chaired by senior manager to meet quarterly to review progress



Customer diversity


The spending power of diverse groups is immense. Are your services or products marketed for diverse groups? Diversity needs to be focused on internal practices, but also on external practices, such as service delivery and customer care. For example, how many potential customers miss your company because your website, building or products are not accessible? Looking at inclusive design can bring in a whole range of new customers, both those with disabilities and those who simply prefer a different way of using products. Make sure your business meets its potential by looking at the needs of diverse groups and tapping into their spending power.


One of the key ways to improve your customer diversity is to improve your employee diversity, and to harness what diversity you already have. Employees from diverse groups can come together in networks to help you find new customers from within those groups and to help your business to develop new products, services and marketing strategies for those groups.

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