Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limitedis a UK private company limited by guarantee and has a network of member firms that are legally separate and independent from one another. This case study will featureDeloitte’s equity and diversity policies. These policies are underpinned to the internal code of practice on opportunities that are equal and also were hand in hand with their policies regarding diversities. The major aim of the policy for equity and diversity is to ensure that all the employees in the establishment, any potential employees, customers and visitors are treated in a manner that is fair and equitable despite of their race, status in society, nationality, religion, gender, age and marital status. All the people involved are supposed to adhere to the code of equality and diversification within the premise. Deloitte has continuously clinched awards for being a leader in diversity and equity all around the globe. It recently was awarded the Equality Mark Certification by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality with the support of European social fund. This is a clear indication of the dedication Deloitte has towards equality and diversification.
Deloitte has successfully devised organizational policies in order to promote equality and diversity among its employees. It founded equality policies in the organization on the basis of the Employment Equality Act that promotes equality as well as preventing discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family status, gender and their social status in society. The policies that Deloitte has put in place include;
Promoting an equality and diversity committee
Deloitte supports the operation of the committee, it provides for financial aid to the equality and diversity committee and joining networks and mailing lists on equality and diversities issues that bring about equality and diversity in the organization.
Promoting an employment equality and diversity policy
This policy should be communicated at all levels of the organization and to all the individuals who are involved; the employees, agents, suppliers, partners and any contracting agencies through various medias(emails, the company’s website, text messages notifications and mails) and various available languages.
To promote equality and diversity employment through;
Policies that ensure no job applicant, volunteer, trainee or employee is unfairly discriminated in terms of gender, nationality, physical capabilities. Mental capabilities, race or religion. Ensuring remarkable service delivery by providing appropriate and impartial services. Their services should be sensitive and accessible to all. Deloitte should have a working environment that is free from harassment, victimization of individuals that have disabilities and an environment that promotes good working and personal relationships among its employees. These policies will create conditions that will lead to full development of the company’s potential.
To promote gender equality
Deloitte will ensure that women are fully represented in all the organization levels in the company. Develop policies and procedures that address gender issues and where appropriate take a positive action. The company should ensure that there is no discrimination whether direct or indirect regarding clients or staff on the basis of gender or marriage. Unequal pay between men and women will be tackled by putting up a transparent and non-discrimatory pay system.
To promote a safe haven for disabled people
Deloitte will create appropriate disability equality and diversity scheme and action plan to protect the disabled persons.Deloitte should recognize that disabilities are not only the visible state but also mental health or debilitating conditions such as HIV and AIDS. Hence the people should also recognize their needs.To increase awareness in the company about the needs of staff, users and visitors with disabilities.To make regular assessments of the company’s sites and actively seek opportunities to improve access in our company’s premises with people with disabilities.To ensure that our practices do not include restrictions to use of our services by people with disabilities.
To promote a safe environment regarding religion and beliefs
An environment that does not restrict different religions and beliefs will be created. Employees, trainees and anybody who is associated with the company should be comfortable and safe enough to be open about their religion or belief. Deloitte challenges negative views and practices and provide training to ensure better understanding of the issues amongst the staff of Deloitte.
To promote acceptance of people of all ages
Deloitte will continue to employ and serve people of all ages as required by law and will ensure that policies do not affect adversely staff or services users because of their ages. The company will ensure that there is no unfair discrimination against any individuals who are associated with the company based on age, whether young or old.
To diversify procurement
Deloitte will strive to ensure that the purchase of goods, facilities and services is undertaken in line with equality and diversity commitments. The company will engage in a diverse range of suppliers and ensure the businesses they deal with are from diverse communities and have equal opportunities of competing for contracts. The company will ensure that the enterprises or individuals that they deal with shares in their values of diversity and equality. http://www.northumbria-police-authority.org/equality/legislation.htm
To train all relevant authorities on diversity and equality
The company will give an in depth training to its entire staff on all issues relating to equality and diversity. The training could include equality and diversity duties and considering how equality and diversity impacts all aspects of business. The company will also train all relevant staff in equality impact staff assessments on all functions of Deloitte, identify areas that have potential inequalities and establish strategies to close all gaps identified.
The role and limits of key aspects of legislation on managing diversity
Legislation for equality and diversity exists for each of the equality strands such as; gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability and age. There are various key legislation on equality and diversity strands. They include;
Race relations act and its amendment
This act and its amendment make discriminations on the grounds of race, color, nationality sometimes citizenship and ethnic origin. It covers people from all racial groups, including white people.
Gender or sex discrimination act
This act usually applies to women and men of all age groups including children and makes discrimination on the grounds of sex and marriage unlawful. It is also unlawful foe victimization because someone has tried to exercise his or her rights under this act. The act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone after an ended formal relationship with an employer if the discrimination stems out of the relationship. The act also provides for the right of the individual to have the same contractual pay and benefits as that of the opposite sex in the same job group or employment. If a man and a woman are doing the same type and amount of job, work rated as equivalent under an analytical job evaluation study they are supposed to be paid equal amount and work the same amount of hours. There is also a gender recognition act that provides protection against transsexual people with all of the rights and responsibilities appropriate to the acquired gender.
The disability discrimination act
This act deals with discrimination against disabled people and it also applies to all those who provide goods, facilities and services to the company. The law provides that it is discriminatory for an organization to discriminate against the disabled persons by not having a means of going around the company, their own facilities so as they could function like any other member of the organization. It is also unlawful not to have policies relating to equality and diversity for disabled people.
Employment equality and diversity (Sexual Orientation)
This act provides regulations that outlaw discrimination, whether it is indirect or direct discrimination, harassment or victimization in employment against sexual orientation. It covers people who have different sex orientations such as gay, bisexual, heterosexual, and lesbians.
Employment equality (religion or belief)
This act states that it is unlawful to directly and indirectly discriminate, harass or victimize individuals in employment or vocational training based on the grounds of religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or even non-beliefs.
Age discrimination act
This act covers all forms of discrimination including discrimination against both the young and the old individuals. The act requires that organizations come up with a workable legislation age. It provides for retirement ages and ages that are appropriate for young people to start working. The role of legislation in managing diversities is clear from the above; as it provides guidelines on what is required or necessary for organizations in managing diversities and equalities. It makes the organizations to promote equality and diversity in their workplace. Legislation also provides that organizations should develop policies that will guard against discrimination of all the equality and diversity strands such as; gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, disability and race. The law also makes sure that these policies are well implemented in the various organizations to the latter to cater for all the equality strands.
Managing diversities is valuing everyone as an individual, in the workplace; individuals should be seen as employees, customers and clients. Management should come up with various management styles and systems that will best utilize the diversity of the employees in the organization. The managers should educate themselves about the various backgrounds of the teams he is handling, this way a manager can create a positive impact on the workplace. When managers realize the various attributes of their team members, they can direct the team members with their attributes in mind. The employees will feel more comfortable with the other team members who have different viewpoints. The managers should avoid the one-size fits all approach to manage individuals at the workplace since people have different needs, perspectives, values and beliefs. Policies to manage diversities should be flexible and inclusive in ways that are used to support business needs and context of the company.
Insights on diversity and equality
Diversity recognizes that even though people may have things in common with each other, they are also different in many ways. It requires recognition of the differences between human beings and their abilities to deliver tasks. The differences include attributes such as; ethnicity, and race, religious and spiritual beliefs, education and economic backgrounds, physical abilities and disabilities, age, gender and occupational status. The most important aspect of diversity inj a working environment is perspective. Different types of people have different perspectives and view points to discussion and resolution of issues. The difference in view points and ideas may present the organization with valuable input to brainstorming sessions and some other issues relating to creativity and innovation. Diversity therefore has a positive impact on both the clients, employees and employers. Employees who are diverse are forced to integrate their differences to accommodate each other and this generates a good culture of tolerance in the workplace. Diversity encourages employees to explore alternative ways of developing interpersonal relationships. Broadening the client-base is another benefit that comes with diversity since a diverse staff is able to communicate with clients who share the same culture, diversity and nationality. Workplace diversity is one of the major reason globalization has gone a notch higher due to exposure to many individuals from diverse backgrounds. Positive impacts that diversity has on the workplace include; increased productivity, greater profitability, global appeal, a remarkable reputation among the society at large and a good corporate culture.
Drawbacks of diversities in a work environment
Some drawbacks that diversity may have include; resentment, when individuals with different perspectives are forced to work together, the individuals who do not want to practice tolerance may resent others. This is mostly evident in scenarios when a woman enters a field that was previously dominated by men. There can also arise mistrust, elements of culture such as language and dress code may cause such mistrusts within the organization. Another negative by product from diversity could be; if employees who have worked for a long time in the organization realize that their employers are hiring to fulfill a diversity quota, the employees may feel undermined and threatened by feeling that they are not among the favored group. Other negative impacts in the workplace is seen in decreased productivity, a lack of togetherness and a close knit corporate culture and high employee turnover. Organizations with poor human resource managers may have a difficult time implementing diversities and a small organization will need diversity consultants and this will transform diversity into a mere commercial venture.
Diversity balance score card
This is a strategic management tool that enables management to clarify their vision and strategies. The diversity balanced scorecard provides an organization with a comprehensive tool to measure the diversities that are available in the organizations. An organization must first identify the area that requires diversification; secondly, a metric that should be used to measure diversity should be identified, thirdly, the target value based on the metric identified should be identified and that will dictate the success factor of the diversification in the organization and lastly, the person in charge of the execution of the strategic initiative should be identified and notified. It is recommended that once a balanced scorecard is implemented, it is necessary to always revisit it to ensure that things are going as planned. Revisiting can be done quarterly, semiannually or annually, it will always answer a very important question relating to diversities, “How are we doing in terms of diversification”
Strategic significance of managing diversities
Improvement of productivity and maintenance of competitive advantage
To be more profitable and cost-effective; to have a more productive, creative and innovative workforce; to be able to attract and retain the best employees; to have lower levels of absenteeism and turnover; to be more capable of serving a diverse customer base; and to be more capable of competing globally are examples given for improving productivity and remaining competitive. Organizations that are sensitive to diversity will be best able to attract and retain the best available human resources. As women, minorities, and other diverse groups become an increased share of available workers, it becomes more important for organizations to be successful in hiring and retaining workers from these groups. Organizations that are receptive to diverse employees are more likely to better understand the diverse market needs of both domestic and global customers and, therefore, compete more effectively.
So as to have a good working relationship among employees
There is better interaction and communication among employees, more effective work teams, more motivated employees, less conflict and misunderstanding among employees, and more satisfied and happy employees. Diversification allows employees understand, respect, and value one another; organizations cannot develop trust and cooperation among employees, which is the key for an effective work environment with productive work teams. Well-managed diversity leads to effective work teams, which in turn lead to the development of high quality products and services. The extent to which an organization functions effectively is dependent on effective interactions among its people. http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/diversity-workplace-overview.aspx
To practice Social Responsibility
Socially responsible managers want their corporations to act in ways that benefit society. For these companies, managing diversity is a social responsibility because they see society as being diverse and if they are to function effectively, they believe they need to utilize and integrate all the different groups in society. These companies focus on creating more open, flexible, responsive, and responsible work environments, where employees can be happier and more satisfied, which they believe will eventually affect their bottom line in a positive way. They want their organizations to be agents for change, to make the world a better place for all members of society.
So as to adhere to rules and regulations set by law
The reduction or prevention of discrimination lawsuits related to gender, race, age, religion, disability, and sexual harassment. organisations that effectively value and manage diversity are more likely to reduce or prevent costly lawsuits. Lawsuits related to areas of diversity litigation such as sexual harassment, race discrimination, and gender bias can cost organizations millions of dollars. Lawsuits also have other negative effects on organizations such as increased turnover, absenteeism, low morale, and low productivity. Short- and long-term savings in personnel and legal costs can make diversity an important business strategy for an organization.
There are future trends that have been identified in diversity
There are a few future trends that have been mentioned by experts that will occur in the near future. They include;
American Society More Diverse
There have been predictions that the USA will receive more immigrants from various countries in the world, people who have many different social backgrounds as well as economic backgrounds. The continued diversity in America’s population in combination with immigration of diverse immigrants will make the term minority lose its meaning. The most recognized minority groups such as African-Americans, Hispanics and the Asians will also increase in population as well.
Increase in Globalization of Corporations
Most organizations in the United States will increase their businesses to international levels; these will make the companies involved in international trade to compete with companies from a great coverage in the globe. For the companies to keep a competitive advantage against its rivals it has to fully utilize the capabilities of its employees from the organization’s subsidiaries in the various parts of the globe. These employees who will be working with each other in the future will have very differences in terms of the gender, age or social background. Since the global competitiveness will have increased, it will make the managing of diversities effectively a major issue. This said, globalization going to greater heights will lead to a work force that is more global-oriented, a market and economy that is measured in international terms.
Diversity a Business Issue
Diversity becoming more business oriented will also be a future trend. It will cease to be what it is known today; a legal responsibility or social responsibility to most firms but will be linked in terms of competitive advantage and policies. Diversity activities that will be linked to strategies that are competitive will lead to a massive increase in a company’s market share, new products in the market will be introduced, and cost saving, great service to customers; efficiency and effectiveness will be increased as well. This issue of being more of business oriented will make accountability and responsibility major focus for businesses.http://vocserve.berkeley.edu/abstracts/mds-1082/mds-1082-results.html
Due to great competition in the market, teams will be very diverse
Great competition in the world will exist as corporations from all walks of life will be competing in the global work place. With all this happening, teams of diverse nature will begin to emerge as corporations will diversify the work force to gain a competitive advantage. Corporations will strive to be produce products that are nothing but of good quality, they will strive to be the best corporations there is in the global market and this will only be achieved if they have a very effective and efficient work force. A diverse work force will be more of a requirement than a strategy as all the corporations engaging in international trade will be having such a strategy hence need to be more creative to gain a competitive advantage.. (Taylor cox, Ruby 1994)
Increased Involvement of Senior Managers in Diversity Issues
Senior managers in the future will become more involved in diversity issues because they will realize that the diverse workforce needs to be better utilized in order to remain competitive. A corporation's success will increasingly be determined by its manager’s ability to utilize the full potential of a diverse workforce. Therefore, senior managers in the future will take on the challenge posed by greater workforce diversity by becoming more competent in diversity issues that are vital to their organization's success. They will see diversity strategies as essential for continued success in tapping the full potential of a diverse workforce and in remaining competitive.
Diversity Training Integrated
D Senior managers who were not previously involved in issues relating with diversity will be more active
Most senior managers of most corporations will soon realize that there is a need for a diverse work force and it is essential to utilize such a work force if at all the corporation is to remain competitive among its rivals. Senior managers will have to be competent in managing the diverse work force and being able to utilize its workforce’s full potential for them to be considered successful. It will be essential to tap the full potential of their work force to become more successful in their line of business and to have an advantage over their competitors.
Equality recognizes that everyone should have a right to equal access to employment opportunities, duties, equal access to training and development and even employment pay. Equality and diversity in the workplace are intertwined and equality is largely interdependent on an acceptance of diversity so as to have equal treatment in the work environment. The better training a workplace has on diversity the better an employer is able to instill equal and fair treatment in the organization.