“Diversity contributes positively to business and organizational performance” – agreed all the panelists univocally. Not only does it improve the reputation of a company, but it also brings multiple perspectives allowing for innovation. Much has been achieved to date in making diversity a working a reality, in private sector businesses and public organizations, but a huge effort still needs to be made to get to the point where diversity is a “business-as-usual” aspect at work.

In order to deliver tangible benefits, diversity should be part of an organization’s DNA, expressed in the company’s values and, importantly, lived on a day-to-day basis at all hierarchy levels. The panelists also highlighted the fact that diversity should not be limited to a gender discussion alone. Age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, physical abilities, religion and political believes, are all aspects that require management’s involvement and guidance to bridge any existing diversity gaps and instill sustainable behavioural change. This was the clear call-to-action from all four panelists towards corporate and organizational leaders and their teams.

Leidar invited four high-level panelists to the Graduate Institute’s Site Barton (Auditorium Jacques-Freymond) for the third edition of its “Advocacy 3.0” event series entitled “Advocacy 3.0 – beyond Diversity.”

Leidar’s high-level panelists at the Graduate Institute Geneva (from left to right). FRODE HVARING, European Broadcasting Union/EUROVISION, Head of Human Resources; FLORENCE ANGLÈS, Senior Risk Manager, Lecturer at HEIG-VD and VP of the Business & Professional Women Club, Geneva; RAYMOND PALMEN, DuPont, Director EMEA Packaging & Industrial Polymers Europe; SIBYLLE RUPPRECHT, Equalyst, CEO & Founder; ROLF OLSEN, CEO Leidar and Moderator.

Only a few companies include diversity as part of the vision/mission statement, explained Dr. Lukasz Bochenek, Leidar’s Head of Insights and Research, who opened the debate with an excerpt from Leidar’s in-depth research of 120 international corporations and their strategies for communicating diversity and diversity.

While over 80% of the surveyed companies have a diversity website, or at least a section dedicated to it on their website, less than 10% had a binding diversity statement and just over 20% issue a Diversity Report or employ a Diversity Officer. This is still a long way from statements about diversity to being an integral part of the business.

A pdf version of the study can be downloaded here.

The study summarizes the findings from Leidar’s in-depth research and includes recommendations for five concrete managerial and communicative steps related to diversity that will help corporations to stand out from their peers and competitors.

Please get in touch with Dr. Lukasz Bochenek, if you would like to know more about the study, or Leidar’s other research and analyses. (lukasz.bochenek@leidar.com).

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