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This is to advise that Diversity Is…is moving and will now have viewable content at: www.symmetra.com.au/latest-news
What do I need to do?
Nothing. All links will eventually be sync-ed to ensure a smooth and easy transition. Just link up and read the posts of interests as you have already been doing over the past 18 months!…
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Thinking about Transparency, the image that immediately comes to mind is that of a window pane; clean, clear and visible. Everyone ought to able to see through it. This is its natural characteristic or quality. And to ensure the window performs its ‘duty’, we are self-tasked to keep it clean, giving it the regular wipe with the ‘soap and sponge’.
In the workplace and society, this is no different. It is no different because as human beings, there is something about the clarity, cleanliness and see-through character of the window pane that we expect professionally and socially, and indeed, are self-challenged to role-model in our day-to-day relations with each other.
Take the issue of financial reward and equal pay, for example, an issue that has now been brought to the forefront of all best practice organisations globally. It is approximately four decades since Equal Pay became a recognised issue across the globe, yet men still earn more than women in nearly 90% of job categories in the UK specifically – according to analysis carried out by the Guardian. This is replicated across other world economies. Indeed in the UK, men take home higher pay than women in 370 of the UK’s 426 job classifications. Furthermore, in Australia, there have been recent questions with regard the absence of women in the decision-making process in issues to do with Defence, an issue linked directly to pay inequality, amongst other things. Continue reading
What words come to mind when we think about inclusivity? Here are some that come to mine:
When one looks at these words, there is a presupposition that typifies them all – that ‘different’ parts have come together to form something new, distinct and unique. In the article entitled; “How is Diversity connected to business strategy?, Part 2”, we had discussed the idea that a core connection between diversity and business strategy is businesses’ strategic need to remain competitive. Competitiveness or the development of a competitive advantage or edge, is all about creating a product backed up by solid intellectual capital – derived from the coming together of different ‘intelligences’ in order to create something new, unique and distinct. Continue reading
We do have to provide a response to this:
I am not really overly concerned, as difficult as this may sound, on whether John Terry did in fact say what he is allegedly accused of saying to Anton Ferdinand – the courts will decide that. Nor am I too worried about the immature behaviour Luis Suarez displayed on Saturday’s match between Manchester United and Liverpool when he choose wilfully not to shake the hands of Patrice Evra post his 8 match ban due to accusations of racist language – the Liverpool establishment will no doubt deal with that.
What I am really concerned about is the fact that in a sport where there have been, literally, heaps of talented Black British players going well back over 4 decades, and for a sport that has such a prolific fan base from across a very wide demographic range, that the fact that there apparently remains no ‘qualified’ Black managers, at all, in the either the Premiership or the Championship is only symptomatic of the lip service the FA, in my view, appears to be paying to the real issues above. Continue reading
“All…people ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as is in my power, they, and all others, shall have” – Abraham Lincoln
When one looks at it, the term ‘fairness’ has been at the epicentre of some of the world’s key historical moments that span through the decades to the present day. Defined as ’the quality of being equitable or just’, a core issue fairness has to deal with is the apparent limitation of human experience to adequately ‘dispense’ fairness to others. This is not to suggest that we are unable or incompetent to be real ‘dispensers’ of fairness. It is rather to recognise that given the complexities of ‘difference’ and ‘sameness’ that are played out in the reality of each individual, being able to positively manage difference is an indispensable quality for adequately ‘dispensing’ fairness.
Positively managing difference is not rocket science. It is simply about recognising individuality. It means being capable and being predisposed to understanding people’s similarities as well as their differences as a matter of normalcy. A bit like holding a coin and recognising that though it has two different sides, it is still one and the same coin. Continue reading
David Cameron stepped into the issue of Executive Pay last week on the Andrew Marr Show, and the topic has once again graced the media airwaves. Frustrated at what he called ‘excessive executive salaries’, Cameron argued that his concerns were not so much that Directors within the FTSE 100 earned what they did, but that they earned what they did despite clear corporate market failure. Here are some statistics: between 2008 and the end of 2011, a period of deep economic downturn, figures suggest that whilst pay for the average worker either fell sharply or at best flat-lined, that of Board Directors almost doubled, going up by 49%. Indeed, further evidence suggests that pay rises were born more out of the somewhat accepted state of affairs whereby fellow Board Directors simply rubber-stamped each others inflated s alaries or what is termed ‘Merry-go-round capitalism’ based on a cronyism of ‘old boys’ networks. Of course, this is all to be understood within the backdrop of the fact that executive pay in the UK over the last 20 years has gone up 8 times, the highest in the world, even more than America
The intention here, however, is not actually to directly castigate the practices described above – am sure this has been done several times over. Rather, I actually want to highlight the implications of such practices showing how they negatively impact the very fabric of business ethics. David Cameron used two very interesting words in this regard which rang true to me: ‘Transparency’ and ‘Fairness’. I add a third, ‘Inclusivity’. Continue reading
As we enter the New Year, talk about New Year Resolutions is all around us. “What are you giving up this year”, people ask? High amongst the regulars are giving up smoking, losing weight, going to the gym more regularly, and starting a diet or detox regime to get rid of the Christmas excesses. These resolutions are all good and great, and I wish you all the best as you set out to achieve them. Indeed, where these assist in facilitating positive change, they are to be encouraged.
But what about those resolutions that help drive real change and reform character? Those that promote the human spirit; that facilitate the opportunity for each individual to achieve their best in the workplace and society; that create an environment characterised by fairness, inclusivity and transparency leading to a new paradigm for positive human co-existence? What about these resolutions?
Here are 3 simple tips alongside the others aforementioned above that will assist in the creation of lasting change this year, and importantly, beyond: Continue reading
Christmas is here again! Indeed, Christmas last year only feels like yesterday – the smiles, the food, the celebrations – by Christians and non-Christians alike. Christmas is an event that brings people together and has taken on pluralistic connotations such that its meaning now goes beyond parochial Christian specific interpretations.
Christmas, and what it represents – ‘the coming of the kingdom’ (Mark 1:15) – is theologically symbolic of human aspirations toward goodness, freedom and spiritual connectedness. Its significance and true meaning therefore is necessarily ‘religiously’ pluralistic in nature as it points to an ethic and value that is recognised as being endemic in all people, regardless of belief systems and theological predispositions.
Thinking of Christmas in this way is not entirely new. Karl Rahner, Richard Swinburne, and Walter Kasper specifically, all known contemporary philosophical theologians thought that the man, Jesus, also known as ‘the Christ’, is himself, an ‘event’ to be understood: his theological significance is the introduction of an aspirational new world order recognisable by all people. After all, the word ‘Christmas’ itself, derived from the Latin ‘Cristes’ for ‘Christ’ and ‘Missa’ for ‘Mass’ or ‘Eucharist’, literally means ‘to show forth the Christ’ – and suggests a coming together of world-peoples despite apparent differences, all of which literally dissipates and dissolves into nothingness, as we gaze at ‘the Christ’ and his universal symbolism.
I am looking forward to spending time with my family and friends, and importantly, tucking into the array of hearty meals that is typical of the Christmas festivities. This is what Christmas is about afterall! But as I look forward to doing so, I cannot help but appreciate and recognise how Christmas has been embraced all over the world; by varied peoples, cultures, governments, societies, political systems, etc – a true symbolism of the strong thread of unity we share despite apparent differences.
A very Merry Christmas to you!!
Jude-Martin is Director of Diversity is…a consultancy focused on providing a fresh and innovative approach to diversity through the provision of HR services covering Strategy, Assessment, and Development for ensuring effective people management in the 21st century global business context.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have found myself thinking about issues relating to ‘customer service’ and the direct impact ‘the customer’ has in driving profitability and competitiveness, particularly in the retail sector, more so as Christmas approaches. Indeed, whilst at a client meeting, when I inquired what the present key business challenge was, the answer was pretty direct: “…to increase sales, promote quality and drive down costs…” These challenges are similar across a multitude of industries and sectors, more so now than ever before, and are constantly reported in the media. Indeed, as I sit here typing away, I can hear the BBC News from my TV announcing in the background “…the British Retail Consortium announces that like-for-like sales in the UK fell 1.6% compared to this time last year…the weakest sales figures for 6 months…”.
I think it is correct to suggest that at the heart of the ‘drive’ to increase sales and drive down costs are the economic conditions being faced globally – particularly in Europe and America. The arguments for these are widely debated so we won’t tinker with them, but the pervading question remains: How do we begin to map a path toward a viable solution?? How do we practically go about increasing business sales and driving down costs? I think a good place to start may be by returning back to the very basics by asking ourselves the question: “Who is Jo(e) Bloggs”?? Continue reading