A positive approach to diversity, in which organizational systems and practices are fully inclusive, will serve to improve effectiveness and performance

Book extract related to the NIVA course on Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace, 11th – 13th of June 2019 at Quality Hotel View, Malmö, Sweden

“The workforce of the twenty-first century is characterized by ever-increasing diversity in terms of ethnic background, lifestyle, intergenerationality, sexual identity and orientation, physical and mental ability and gender. In light of this, it is necessary that managers and indeed all employees develop a greater awareness of concepts and practices that can remove obstacles to the full participation and contribution of workers. A positive approach to diversity, in which organizational systems and practices are fully inclusive, will serve to improve effectiveness and performance.

Current trends in society, in the business world and in the public sector are reflected in the increasing attention paid to diversity issues in organizations and in the field of economics. Thus companies are forced to create inclusive structures in order to maintain a competitive advantage, as a means to refining their pool of talent and to critically analyse and reflect on organizational practices and ways of ‘doing. Rather than simply pointing to problem groups (such as women, ethnic minorities or disabled people) and trying to find a suitable organizational response, they must attempt to reveal underlying discriminatory practices or obstacles to inclusivity. A more holistic approach is required that takes account of the various levels at which exclusive processes are manifested, that is, the individual employee, the managerial level, the organization itself (by analysing its values and structures) or indeed the societal level in which the organization is located.

The right qualifications, knowledge and skills are necessary to deal with such highly complex issues. More specifically, the management of diversity and the creation of a culture of inclusion – two essential ingredients to build a sustainable business for the future (European Commission, 2005) – require individual self-awareness, diversity competence and strategic managerial skills.”

From the book Diversity in Organizations by Heie Mensi-Klarbach & Annette Risberg 2019; Palgrave Macmillan, page 22.

You can buy the book HERE.

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Last registration date: 10th of April 2019