Headlines: June 29th, 2004

Employers in the public sector are doing more to promote diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace than their counterparts in private enterprise according to the findings of a study published in a new journal focusing on diversity practice and discrimination law. The study also shows that public sector employers are better able to identify the business benefits of promoting diversity.The results shows that in the public sector, more than eight out of ten employers have an action plan in place to implement diversity or equal opportunities policies compared to 56 per cent of private employers. They are also more likely to offer mentoring or have support networks for people from under-represented groups. The survey also found that public sector organisations are more likely to monitor the make up of their workforce in recruitment, training, promotion, and redundancy, and to have measures in place to measure the impact of diversity initiatives.

Only half of private employers in the study were able to identify tangible business benefits from their diversity initiatives compared to two thirds in the public sector. This may be a consequence of the relative lack of monitoring and measurement in the private sector.

The study was conducted in April among 268 organisations, employing about 1.6 million people. The results are published in “Diversity at Work”, a new monthly subscription journal produced by Incomes Data Services.