Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Diversity Is Not Just a Human Resources Function Anymore

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Diversity Is Not Just a Human Resources Function Anymore

Article excerpt

Many business organizations today are experiencing "diversity fatigue." This is due to disappointing results from all of the diversity initiatives and programs that human resources managers have in place.

At the same time, some businesses are experiencing great success with diversity. The difference often lies in the basic assumptions about diversity, what it means and what it can achieve.

The responsibility for managing diversity and inclusiveness in an organization typically falls within the human resources function. Many organizations today have human resources professionals at the executive level that hold the title of chief diversity officer or chief people officer. This person works with HR managers, function and line managers and executives to create an organizational vision to increase diversity and create a work climate that leverages diversity to achieve higher performance. Organizations may also have focused the responsibility for diversity and inclusion within specific areas inside the human resources function, such as recruiting or talent management.

The major challenge that diversity specialists have is that they are often viewed as "the champion" for diversity and they "own" the accountability. While this may sound like the right way to structure the role, many diversity managers feel this actually makes it easier for others in the organization to think "diversity is that person's job or priority, so I don't have to think about it." This can be problematic because employees and managers may not really understand the importance of leveraging diversity, nor take the time to develop the skills needed to contribute to inclusive work environments.

Dr. Martin Davidson at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business just wrote a book, entitled The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed. Davidson emphasizes that many companies have only focused on attracting and retaining diverse employees and have not critically examined their organizational culture to assess their capabilities to leverage that diversity for learning, innovation and achieving superior results.

The organizations acknowledged as best places to work for minorities are those that have a commitment to diversity from the highest-ranking executives. They expect that everyone in the organization will be equally committed. The value on diversity becomes ingrained in the organizational culture. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.