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Gender and Diversity: Organisational Issues Marilyn (Lyn) Davidson Professor of Work Psychology Co-Director, Centre for Equality and Diversity at Work.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Diversity: Organisational Issues Marilyn (Lyn) Davidson Professor of Work Psychology Co-Director, Centre for Equality and Diversity at Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Diversity: Organisational Issues Marilyn (Lyn) Davidson Professor of Work Psychology Co-Director, Centre for Equality and Diversity at Work Manchester Business School

2 Managing Diversity - Definition “Managing Diversity initiatives seek to fully develop the potential of each employee and turn the different sets of skills that each employee brings into a business advantage. Through fostering the difference, team creativity, innovation and problem-solving can be enhanced. The focus is therefore, much more on the individual rather than the group. Having a diverse workforce not only enables organisations to understand and meet customer demand better, but also helps attract investors and clients, as well as reduce the costs associated wi th discrimination” Davidson and Fielden (2003)

3 In a review of How 22 European Companies were Reporting Diversity and E.O. Holton (2005) concluded:  Diversity reporting is still in its infancy  In the UK diversity often means gender, age, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities  Elsewhere in Europe, it may mean race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law  Mixing diversity with corporate responsibility (CSR) became more prominent and helped populise diversity. Maybe disadvantages i.e. diversity becomes less distinct and merely as adjunct to broader CSR programme  Targets are still an ‘explosive’ issue but some companies appear comfortable with targets e.g. BP, Credit Suisse and Shell and often related to ethnic or gender mix

4 DTI’s Fair Treatment at Work Survey 2005/6 (3,936 UK employees in-depth interviews) Individual Reasons Cited by Employees for their Unfair Treatment:  Age  Long-term illness  ‘Accent or the way one speak’  Race and ethnic group  Disability  ‘Physical appearance’  Gender  ‘Being pregnant’  Nationality  ‘The way I dress’  Union membership  Religion  Colour of skin

5 Global Statistics (2004)  According to “Breaking through the glass ceiling: Women in management – Update 2004”: –Overall employment situation for women has not evolved significantly since Women’s share of professional jobs increased by just over 0.7% between 1996 and 1999, and 2000 and 2002 –Women still markedly under-represented in management compared to their overall share of employment –Countries in North America, South America and Eastern Europe have higher share of women in management jobs than countries in East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East (Source: Women in Management Review, 19 (5), 2004)

6 Sex and Power 2008 Index: Women in selected ‘top jobs’ over the last five years % women /8 Further Education College principals University vice-chancellors Members of Parliament (rated 70 th in the world) Directors in FTSE 100 companies (executive and non-executive) Small businesses with women the majority of directors figures not available Editors of national newspapers (including Glasgow Herald and Western Mail) Local authority chief executives Senior police officers Senior judiciary (high court judge and above) Civil service top management Head teachers in secondary school figures not available

7  ILO Global Glass Ceiling Study (2004) concluded: “Women continue to have more difficulty obtaining top jobs than they do lower down the hierarchy. The rule of thumb is still: the higher up an organisation’s hierarchy, the fewer the women” (Source: Women in Management Review, 19 (5), 2004)

8 Business Reasons for engaging in Diversity Management  Recent research by Catalyst found the Fortune US 500 companies with 3 or more women on Board achieved an 83% higher return on equity than those with minimum representation  When UK women represent 30% of Board of Directors, profitability of company increases threefold (Gavurin, 2008)

9 Business Reasons for engaging in Diversity Management  In US, women now make 80% of consumer spending decisions, including cars, computers and financial products  In Japan, women make/influence two- thirds of car purchases  In UK, more female than male millionaires in year bracket

10 Barclays Recruitment & Retainment of Broader Range of Age Groups  Removed age barriers  Changed flexible working and retirement options  Introduced long-service awards Barclays now employ more people over 50 than under 21 Increased number of over-60s who continue employment to over 61% Cost of retention (and reduced training & development costs) matched by business benefits (Age Positive, 2005)

11 Work-life Balance – Nationwide Building Society  Created strong ethos of flexible working practices e.g.  Job-sharing  Compressed working weeks  Homeworking –Annualised hours Employee satisfaction risen by 14% Employee retention/return to work after maternity is 93% (=£3 million savings) Overall staff turnover one of lowest in industry (=£10 million a year) (BITC, 2002)

12 Step by Step Programmes to Managing Diversity  Copowski (1996) emphasizes:  Obtaining top management support  Developing training based on business needs  Encouraging open communication  Giscombe and Sims (1998) suggest also:  1.Formally assess the situation in your organisation  2.Challenge cultural stereotypes and assumptions  3.Encourage mentoring and implement employee  networks  4.Enhance succession and promotion planning  process  5.Hold managers accountable  6.Develop a comprehensive retention strategy

13 Assessing the situation - Diversity and Equality Audits Sutherland & Davidson, 1996 – Co-op Bank Gavin & Davidson, 2006 – Council of Europe

14 At the current rate of progress in the UK, it will take another:  27 years to achieve equality in Civil Service top management (up from 20 years in 2007)  55 years to achieve an equal number of senior women in the judiciary (up from 40 years)  73 years to achieve equal number of female directors of FTSE 100 companies (up from 65 years)  200 years – another 40 elections – to achieve equal numbers of women in Parliament Source: Sex and Power – Who Runs Britain, EHRC, 2008 Source: Sex and Power – Who Runs Britain, EHRC,

15 Final Quotation: “The goal is the creation of a non- discriminatory, diverse, and inclusive workplace – a world in which members of both sexes are valued for what they bring to the workplace and are granted the opportunity to make full use of their talents.… What a wonderful world this would be” (Powell and Graves, 2003, p.239)


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