Promoting diversity management in the workplace
This is an ambitious and important European Commission project which covers fundamental rights issues, business management and working life. It addresses anti-discrimination issues in the workplace and activities to help overcome such difficulties. The project was launched because the business world is realising the benefits of workplace diversity and the intention is that the project will help address labour shortages due to demographic trends, as well as generate innovation and create efficiency. The Commission want to raise awareness of diversity and of initiatives to promote diversity in the workplace.
A steering committee - in which AGE Platform Europe participates - is accompanying the project and is being used to test ideas, give feedback and help identify synergies and build on those. Media Consulta is running the project and seeks to draw on the expertise of NGOs and the business sector.
The project follows on from previous related initiatives:
2005 - Business case for diversity: good practices in the workplace (study and conference)
2006 - Focus on SMEs (conference and booklet)
2007 - Diversity management training (28 seminars across the EU)
2008 – Continuing the business diversity journey (study and conference)
Its main focus will be on voluntary diversity initiatives taken by business and organisations working with business aimed at promoting and valuing diversity in the workplace. The objective of the project is to support voluntary initiatives promoting diversity management in the workplace across the EU and more specifically to:
- Provide support in launching and maintain a platform for EU-level exchange between national diversity charters;
- Develop and implement a European diversity award at the workplace;
- Develop diversity benchmark data with and for businesses;
- Maximise diversity and equality measures in businesses across the EU and establish a solid network base which will in turn lay a firm base of support for diversity activities and policies in the future.
The project has the following tasks:
Task 1: Exchange Platform
- Organise and maintain a platform for EU-level exchange between organisations promoting and implementing national diversity charters.
- Encourage and coordinate further diversity charters initiatives, especially in the newer Member States;
- Encourage businesses, including SMEs, to sign diversity charters and to implement diversity policies;
- Raise public awareness for diversity management through the coordination of common communication and promotion activities.
Task 2: European diversity award
- Development of a European diversity award scheme at the workplace;
- Awareness raising about diversity management;
- Encourage businesses to adapt or further develop their diversity policies;
- Organise a high-level event disseminating the results of the initiative and launch a feasibility study award at the end of 2010.
Task 3: Development of diversity benchmark data for and with business
- Carry out preparatory work for the development of diversity benchmark data for business;
- Develop and implement the diversity benchmark data system in the next years.
The next meetings of the steering committee will be held in June and October 2010.
For more details, please contact Rachel Buchanan, Policy Officer for Employment and Non-discrimination, at email@example.com.