Business case for diversity

The business case for diversity argues that diversity policies make good business sense, and managing diversity is increasingly part of the business sector's response to a more diverse society, customer base, market structure and workforce.

 Over the last few years various initiatives have been carried out to further develop and promote the business case for diversity in the EU and to place diversity management firmly on the agenda and activities of European companies and business schools.

AGE has participated as a supporting partner in the Commission’s steering group on the business case for diversity whose role was to accompany these activities and to act as a sounding board.

The key outputs include the provison of resource tools to support SMEs to promote diversity; the design and analysis of a questionnaire on diversity; and reports on the business case for diversity focusing on the relevance for SMEs, the link between diversity and innovation, experience of diversity charters, and the feasibility of establishing a diversity network of business schools and companies.

2009 - a focus on SMEs

There are some 23 million SMEs in Europe, representing around 75 million jobs.  Informing SMEs about the advantages of diversity, raising awareness among them and answering their questions on this topic is therefore very important. The European Commission publish a guide for SMEs entitled 'Diversity at work'.

2008 - continuing the diversity journey: business perspectives, practices and benefits

This study updated the picture of diversity management practice and perspectives of companies across Europe, provided a more in-depth understanding of the advantages diversity can bring SMEs and the obstacles they face, examined the link between diversity, innovation and productivity, examined the role of diversity in business schools and universities, and provided insight into the business sector's voluntary initiatives, in particular the Diversity Charters existing in France, Germany and the Brussels Capital Region.

2007 - a focus on diversity management training

Between autumn 2007 and spring 2008, the European Commission organised 28 seminars across Europe to help companies make up for their lack of familiarity with diversity-related matters. Seminars were held for more than a thousand companies and employers' organisations in each member country, plus Turkey. Aa training manual was prepared in all languages.

2005 study - good practices in the workplace

The study showed that companies are making steady progress towards implementing diversity and equality strategies in the workplace. Of the 800 companies which participated in the survey, around half of them reported that they already had a diversity policy or strategy in place. 83% of these said that their diversity initiatives had had positive repercussions for company results and  that they were doing it for the business benefits it brought, not just for ethical and legal reasons. 

More details

Please click on the following link for more details and to access the relevant studies and training manuals: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=780&langId=en.

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