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first_imgA phenomenal amount of blood, sweat and tears have gone into establishingdiversity and equality schemes across the UK. The effort, investment andcommitment among many public and private employers have been impressive in sucha short space of time. But what difference has it made to progressing towards more diverse andequitable workplaces? Judging by the latest damning Commission for RacialEquality report, it has had little impact on the police, with more than 90 percent of their race-equality schemes failing to meet minimum legal requirements.The private sector is also grappling with the practicalities. There has beena plethora of creative initiatives, but achieving culture shifts andmainstreaming diversity and equality into organisational structures is provinga hard nut to crack. There’s been success in getting business leaders to authorise and sponsoractivity, but we still have a long way to go in getting line managers toreinforce and own it. Chucking diversity training at the problem may have beenthe response by certain less than committed constabularies, but it is quiteobviously not the answer. Industry chiefs understandably want to know how much transformation hasoccurred down the line on race and equality because the development money theyhave put in isn’t instantly recognisable on the ground. For the police, improvements have not been substantial in the past fiveyears since the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, and good intentions haven’t beenmatched by sufficient action. In the private sector, the big challenge isbuilding diversity and equality strategies into business plans and performancemeasures, and then assessing the impact on organisational results. Line managers, as always, are the key to embedding new behaviours into thewiring and plumbing of an organisation. They often want to respond positivelyto diversity and equality, but need help in addressing it properly with theright skills. Some are disadvantaged twice over when they are led by seniormanagement teams who are at best neutral about it, and at worst, see it as aload of nonsense. ‘Stealth racism’ is emerging as a new term to describe those who areprejudiced, but know how to hide it and avoid breaking the law. Clearly, we’reentering a new tough phase in tackling racism. Zero tolerance is the onlysensible response if the Race Relations Act is to mean anything at all. By Jane King, editor Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Achieving equality was never going to be easyOn 22 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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