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Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion: Building Competitive Advantage

Equality and diversity in the workplace
Introduction to theme

Diversity and equality are highly relevant and are based on the concept of ensuring that every employee has the same access to career development opportunities and promotion without any bias or discrimination being exercised against them within the workplace. The diversity and inclusion strategy of a business should place equal value on all people within the company, by placing a positive value on the differences. A diverse and inclusive work environment places value on individual background, knowledge, skills and experiences and focuses these differences on the creation of a positive, productive and effective internal and external working environment. Many companies are developing diversity and equality strategies to build forward-thinking businesses that look beyond any legal guidance to promote equality and diversity and improve corporate productivity, business development opportunities and competitiveness. The development of an inclusive and diverse employee community is the catalyst for strategic success measurement within many companies today.

You have been employed as a Business Researcher by an organisation of your choice to investigate the types of strategies and initiatives that need to be designed, developed and implemented to build a diverse and inclusive workforce to support the competitive advantage of the organization.

You are required to conduct a small-scale research project on the current diversity and equality strategy chosen by your organisation and make some recommendations for the future strategic direction of the equality and diversity strategy of the business. Emphasis should be placed on the final sections of the report, where you draw on your analysis of the organisation and its environment to make an argument to justify recommendations on the future strategic direction of the inclusion, equality and diversity strategy of the business. In supporting your recommendations, you should make full use of the frameworks discussed in class and from any publicly available resources you can access, for example information provided by the organisation website, media reports and relevant academic sources.

The project should clearly examine the development of a diversity and inclusion strategy could support the competitive advantage of the chosen organisation. This should include the project objectives, structure, size and scope, as well as their key stakeholders.

Milestones and interim feedback

The purposes of milestones are to monitor the progress of the project and to maintain momentum, making it more likely that the project will succeed. Each milestone should be a clear, achievable activity that the student aims to achieve by a particular time. Students should agree at least two milestones with their tutor.

Examples of milestones include:

• Preparing the initial project plan

• Completing primary research

• Production of first draft of findings

• Suggestion of recommendations

At each milestone, the tutor will liaise with the student to check whether it has been achieved and provide advice to the student on their individual project progress.

The following tasks are required to be carried out:
1. Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme.

Before commencing your project, you are required to devise project aims and objectives for a chosen scenario.

As part of planning the project, produce a project management plan that covers aspects of cost, scope, time, quality, communication, risk and resources. Similarly, as part of organizing the project into manageable sections, you are required to produce a work breakdown structure and a Gantt chart to provide timeframes and stages for completion. Finally, to convince the management team, you are recommended to produce a comprehensive project management plan, milestone schedule and project schedule for monitoring and completing the aims and objectives of the project.

2. Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project.

Now that the project aims and objectives have been established, you are required to carry out a small-scale research by applying qualitative and quantitative research methods appropriate for meeting project aims and objectives. You should evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the different research methods applied. It is important to demonstrate your ability to carry a small-scale research, by critically evaluating the project management process and appropriate the research methodologies you used in the research.

3. Present the project and communicate appropriate ecommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from evidence findings and /or analysis.

Having demonstrated your ability to collect data, you are required to analyse the data using appropriate tools and techniques. You should then communicate appropriate recommendations as a result of data analysis to draw valid and meaningful conclusions.

Your senior management would benefit from the recommendations, so you should evaluate the selection of appropriate tools and techniques you used to analyse the data.

4. Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance.

Having successfully completing the project, you should now reflect on the value of undertaking the research to meet both the organisation’s objectives and your own learning and performance. You should also evaluate the value of the project management process to meet the organisation’s stated objectives and to support your own learning and performance.

To support the justifications of the recommendations you suggested and to demonstrate your learning during the project, your senior managers would like you to critically evaluate and reflect on the results of the project, the decision-making process or any changes you would make to the initial project management plan if you were to undertake a similar project in future.

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