Help line managers deliver diversity

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. HR managers were last week given a wake-up call about the progress they aremaking on changing behaviours and attitudes towards diversity. Jon Whiteley, head of diversity for occupational psychologists Pearn Kandola,told 90 HR managers and diversity specialists attending the conference thatthey were “too blasé” about the impact they make on business. He said the profession had talked about and acted on diversity strategiesfor several years, yet in reality, it had not made a difference. “Business leaders are saying: is there any change actually taking placedown the line? Line managers are saying: ‘I want to do it but help me’.Organisations are getting frustrated because the commitment and investment hasnot led to progress,” he said. Whiteley believes HR is good at getting business leaders to authorise andsponsor their diversity initiatives, but poor at getting line managers toreinforce, own it and acquire the right skills. “Line managers are the catalysts for change. That’s how we getdiversity into the wiring and plumbing of an organisation,” he said.”If we reinforce diversity behaviour at every level, it stands a one intwo chance of success.” Too many organisations were “chucking diversity training” at theproblem instead of embedding diversity policies and practice into businessplans and performance management. Delegates heard from Satya Kartara, the Royal Mail’s new director ofdiversity, who is working hard to mainstream diversity as an integral part oforganisational daily life. The plan has top-level support from its CEO Adam Crozier and chairman AllanLeighton, but has a mountain to climb in changing behaviour. Kartara’s team hopes to transform the culture at the beleaguered Royal Mailwithin two years by using an aggressive approach to tackling widespreadbullying and harassment. Effort is being concentrated on developing skilledmanagers, challenging troublemakers, intro-ducing new procedures andpartnership with unions. Confidential helplines, independent investigators, diversity champions andheavy monitoring are all part of the campaign. By Jane Kingwww.pearnkandola.comFeedback from the professionJon Whitely, head of diversity, PearnKandola and former equality manager, Lloyds/TSB”Being in equality/diversity is a very lonely job. I callit a Billy-No-Mates job because nobody wants to talk to you unless there’s aproblem.  “I wonder ifwe [diversity managers] are not a bit selfish at times. We’ve got powerful databut are not convincing others to tap into it. We could be more open with thestuff we know and could share that information.”David Benwell, corporate diversityassociate, BAE Systems”Being at board level is not always an attractive place tobe. Many women are not interested in getting there.” Binna Kandola, managing partner,Pearn Kandola”Managing diversity effectively makes you a bettermanager.”Satya Kartara, director ofdiversity, Royal Mail”Diversity is about leadership. To provide leadership, youneed to give a sense of direction, give a sense of what the future vision willlook, feel and sound like.” Related posts:No related photos. Help line managers deliver diversityOn 18 Mar 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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