Most Companies Have Diversity Strategies
Study of Corporate Diversity Initiatives
As corporate workforces start to resemble Olympic villages, and globalization intensifies trans-national and cross-cultural workplace interactions, diversity programs are becoming a mission-critical piece of most organizations.
According to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), nearly three-quarters of all responding companies, and a whopping 85% of firms with 10,000 or more workers, have either expanded the scope of their diversity strategies thanks to globalization or have plans to do so.
Diversity programs have become an essential strategy in today’s heterogeneous and increasingly global marketplace. “Diversity programs have gone from nice-to-have to must-have for most firms,” said Jay Jamrog, i4cp SVP of Research.
“Strong diversity strategies help in the attraction and retention of top talent as well as customer relations, and companies not paying attention to that are missing the boat. What is a bit shocking is that almost a quarter of companies have yet to address the issue.”
Cited Benefits of Diversity Programs
At the top of the perceived benefits of bolstering a global diversity strategy is the creation of stronger relationships with partners and customers, with 71% of companies affirming the importance of this reason to a high or very high extent.
Providing the ability to attract top talent via reputation as an employer of choice was similarly cited by 70% — increasing to 75% among large companies — while 64% of companies said their global diversity strategy supports their culture and branding efforts to a high or very high extent.
Challenges and Hurdles Faced by Diversity Programs
Chief among the challenges to global diversity strategies is the lack of universal measurement, reported by 36% of all respondents as being an issue to a high or very high extent, increasing to 42% among large companies.
A “varied acceptance” of diversity initiatives was pointed to by 36% of all respondents, while a third of companies said cultural barriers present hurdles.
The Taking the Pulse: Global Diversity survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in August 2008. The total number of respondents was 176. Approximately 51% of responding organizations reported an employee base of greater than 10,000. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.
For More Information
From Knowledge@Wharton: Diversity in Corporate America: Still a Work in Progress
IM Diversity is,”dedicated to providing career and self-development information to all minorities, specifically African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and women.”
About.com Human Resources: Diversity in the Workplace (several articles on everything from diversity and the holidays to LGBT issues).