Diversity programmes 'super-sized' in reaction to globalisation

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The impact of globalisation has broadened diversity efforts, according to 2,500 HR and training executives in the US and Canada.

The survey by Novations Group, a consulting firm based in Boston, showed that over 40% of organisations have already expanded the scope of their diversity and inclusion programming, up from just 15% in 2005, the last time the waters were tested by the survey authors.

Moreover, another 24% of employers expect to broaden their efforts in the near future:

"Organisations are responding to the changing demographics of their workforce as well as the need to deliver consistent global training programs," said Ron Adderley, vice president for Novations. "Classic US-centric diversity programs are simply not effective strategies in today’s global marketplace."

In addition, 41% admitted they had expanded their diversity and inclusion efforts as a direct reaction to increasing globalisation.

The shift in focus reflects a trend already under way among diversity training providers, said Adderley. "Diversity and inclusion (D&I) has been steadily moving into the training and development mainstream, where the emphasis is increasingly on employee inclusion and engagement, and leveraging the skills talents and abilities of all employees. The challenge is to increase organisational and individual capacity."

According to Adderley, companies that do not change their D&I strategies will see the effects on their bottom lines and their abilities to consistently attract, grow and retain talent.

"Of course, there are some employers who still look at this entire discussion as being a US problem. But diversity and leveraging talent are fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Colour, gender, generations in the workplace, work-life balance, communication styles, language, work styles, challenges around disabilities, etc, are issues that know few borders."


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