In today's climate organisations increasingly need to recognise, harness and manage diversity. Equal opportunities legislation and policy, first developed in the 1970s, came about to redress past wrongs and to ensure equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and faith. Managing diversity is founded on the premise that harnessing difference will create a productive environment in which everyone feels valued, where their talents are used and organisational goals are met. Diversity and ensuring equality of opportunity can be misunderstood. They are sometimes thought to be a politically correct requirement that does not really work. Equal opportunities policy focuses on being fair, but does not take the extra step of harnessing diversity to enhance business. Good diversity policy not only reduces the negatives, such as bullying, disputes, low morale, and sometimes litigation. It will also bring in extra talent, new perspectives, learning, and limitless opportunities for innovation. A case study with the London Fire Brigade shows a creative approach in diversity workshops.
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