Diversity or Diversion?

Experts express their views about the effectiveness of diversity programs and offer suggestions on how to improve them

quality business practices.

Diversity Programmusts
Design a strategic plan. A corporation’s diversity initiative needs to outline the objectives, accountability measures, and mechanisms that will achieve the firm’s goals. It must also designate the people responsible for making these things happen. A fluid plan is necessary, however, so that adjustments are integrated as the program unfolds.

  • Foster an inclusive organizational culture. The human resource systems should work proactively to eliminate barriers and increase opportunity. This may be accomplished through employee mentoring and efforts, training programs, career counseling, and other special programs specifically designed to further diversity initiatives.
  • Honor the spirit and the intent of civil rights and employment laws. If you have an organization that is intolerant, then its managers, leaders, and employees will exhibit intolerant behavior. That could result in lawsuits, which could prove very expensive in the long run.
  • Customer satisfaction should reign supreme. Get a clear understanding of the marketplace as well as what’s driving the sales of your products and services across multiple constituents. If you’re targeting African Americans, you’d better understand how they influence your business.
  • Ensure that your diversity initiative reflects profitability. Determine how this initiative is going to help your firm make more money, sell more products, penetrate new markets, or increase shareholder wealth.
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