Businesses suffering from failed diversity strategies
Businesses are often making things worse for themselves by implementing strategies to encourage diversity in the workplace but not really thinking things through, it has been claimed.
Leadership development advisor Penny Ferguson said that many businesses were simply looking at the numbers of people in a team that were from different backgrounds but that this was not enough.
She said: "It's no good merely putting a mix of different people in a room and expecting them to get on with it.
"Embracing diversity can be a powerful tool in business, bringing different experiences and stimulating new ideas but research shows that initially there can be problems."
Teams needed to learn to deal with differences in order to be successful, Ms Ferguson advised, by listening to each other and giving everyone the space to express their view, as well as understanding how individuals contribute to the success or failure of diversity initiatives.
She also warned against companies setting up diversity initiatives as a separate business activity, stating that in a real sense everyone was diverse, so that dealing with it should be an integral part of a business leader's thinking.