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Globalisation prompts employers to extend diversity


More employers have broadened their diversity efforts because of the impact of globalization, according to a survey of more than 2,500 senior HR and training executives in the US and Canada by Novations Group, a consulting firm based in Boston.

Over 40% of organizations have already expanded the scope of their diversity and inclusion programming, up from just 15% in 2005, the last time the issue was addressed by Novations in a survey. Moreover, another 24% of employers expect to broaden their efforts in the near future, according to the survey.

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

In reply to the question: "Has your organization had to broaden the scope of its diversity and inclusion programs because of increasing globalization?", 41% of respondents said yeas and 35% said no and they didn't expect to in the near future.

The shift in focus reflects a trend already under way among diversity training providers, said Adderley. "D&I has been steadily moving into the T&D 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 organizational 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. Color, gender, generations in the workplace, work-life balance, communication styles, language, work styles, challenges around disabilities, etc, are issues that know few borders.”

Equation Research conducted the Internet survey of 2,556 senior HR and T&D executives in December 2007.


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