Headlines: June 11th, 2002

A direct link between good diversity policies and improved performance was revealed in a survey of more than a hundred of the UK’s leading organizations in the public and private sectors. The research was funded by the Cabinet Office and Barclays Bank, and conducted by the specialist consultancy Schneider-Ross.The link between diversity and performance was recognized by 87% of organizations in the public sector and by 71% in the private sector.

The survey showed that an effective diversity policy is not just ‘nice to have’, but that it plays a significant part in helping organizations to meet their challenges. It is valuable in attracting the brightest and best of people from all backgrounds, bringing a richness of experience and knowledge to the workplace, and improving understanding of increasingly diverse customer base.

The successful implementation of diversity policies was found to be due more to the depth of integration into business strategy, rather than the length of time they had been in place. Changing the culture is crucial and for this change to happen the policy must be led from the top. Sustained leadership commitment is also a crucial element for success.

An Executive Summary of the report ‘The Business of Diversity”, is available at http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk