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Diversity and inclusion


Given that society hasnt sorted this issue out, should employers??

Thats the question in a nutshell. Society isnt comfortable with inclusiveness, respect and where the boundaries lie. Is it an employers place to meddle with this and inform? Clearly the issues are not clear and respect for religion appears a grey area dependent on perception.
Are employers in danger of imposing thier views on an area that society itself hasnt debated fully?
Juliet LeFevre

2 Responses

  1. Including Diversity
    You do like the simple questions Juliet.

    You say in your post that ‘Society isn’t comfortable with inclusiveness, respect and where the boundaries lie.’ This is true, but that isn’t to say that society doesn’t try to address it – if it didn’t then we wouldn’t have the level of inclusiveness we do have at present. But that’s not to say that Society couldn’t do better. And isn’t a business part of Society? So it could (or maybe ‘should’) be argued that a business does have a duty of care to address the issues of all its employees from whatever cultural, ethnic or religious background.
    It is a fact of life that we live in a culture that has for hundreds of years, integrated and assimilated people from other cultures into itself, and by doing so, creates a change in the overall culture.

    I think John Donne summed Diversity and Inclusion up:
    No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls,
    it tolls for thee.

    As for your contention: ‘Are employers in danger of imposing their views on an area that society itself hasn’t debated fully?’ I would refute that. Society has generated legislation (some good, some not quite so good) that aims to create a balance – but it can’t unless we engage with it, use it, change and develop it where necessary and keep on doing so – after all, it is Society that makes the laws (even though individuals within that society may not always agree with some of those laws). Employers are part of society and should thus engage with its continued development. After all, Diversity and inclusion is not going to go away, so maybe we have to take up the challenge of debating it fully everywhere we can – and that includes employers. After all, if employers exclude themselves from the discussion it would be rather ironic.


  2. Yes and yes
    “Given that society hasn’t sorted this issue out, should employers??”

    Yes, because in my view society is not capable of sorting this out therefore all governments in ‘developed’ countries have to pass legislation that inhibits discrimination and promotes inclusion. For example, surely a civilised society could collectively recognise that discrimination on the grounds of age is wrong? After all, in societies with ever increasing life expectancy, then barring a serious accident or illness, we are ALL going to be old. Apparently not, therefore anti-ageism legislation is being introduced later this year.

    “Are employers in danger of imposing their views on an area that society itself hasn’t debated fully?”

    Yes, although I see it as more a case of employers coercing their employees in order to ensure that the business complies with both anti-discriminatory legislation and pro-diversity ‘good business’ guidelines. Employers can’t afford to employ free-thinkers on this subject. Most employees are happy to buy into diversity training, but whether there is any significant long-term effect on their communication with customers, who they perceive as different to them, is another matter. Measuring compliance with equal opportunities in recruitment and employment is easier because of access to the statistics.


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