Establishing a diversity initiative
A Cummins case study

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Page 1: Introduction

In a rapidly changing business environment decision-takers in large organisations are recognising that, in order for their company to succeed, they need to develop a human resources strategy that is an integral part of their corporate strategy.

For example, the company wants the best and most talented people within the busine Fss, those with the capability to engage in business with different customers in different markets around the world. It also wants the organisation to bring people from different cultures and backgrounds together who are capable of developing new solutions to business problems and issues.

Equal opportunities exist in the workplace when individuals have identical rights and responsibilities regardless of gender, racial group, age, physical characteristics, sexual orientation or other characteristics. In a regulated society, all business organisations must seek as a minimum, to meet equal opportunity legislation within a statutory framework. However, in recent years progressive organisations have adopted a 'managing diversity' approach rather than simply an equal opportunities stance.

Equal opportunities are based upon the notion that when people are in the same situation they should be treated in the same way. Managing diversity sees gender, ethnic background and other forms of differentiation as relevant to the business success of the organisation. It accepts that if organisations are to move forward and develop opportunities better than other organisations, they need the best people. These people are only available if they positively draw upon a much wider range of talent.

According to business experts, winning companies 'search for and arrive at the best combination of management principles to mix the cultural beliefs and backgrounds of their employees.' This case study focuses upon the Diversity Initiative developed by Cummins. In doing so, it shows how the initiative has enabled the company to create an inclusive culture beyond equal opportunities legislation.

Cummins | Establishing a diversity initiative