The role of an equal opportunities policy
A Ford case study

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Page 6: Conclusion

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The issue of equal opportunities is one which has to be constantly monitored in practice. As a result of this monitoring process, it is possible to take stock of performance, to evaluate the success of the operation of a policy in practice and to make adjustments and improvements where necessary.

Equal Opportunities is not merely an issue of fairness. To attract and retain the very best talent, the Company has committed itself to the principles which ensure employees can develop and demonstrate their full potential. As Ford continues its transition into a global organisation, through the Ford 2000 programme, it has identified the diversity of its workforce as a key element of its strategy to achieve competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive global market.

Equal Opportunities Training and Other Positive Initiatives

Ford 3 Image 7An equal opportunities policy can only be successful if the principles it contains are implemented in a way which connects the policy to the action required in the workplace. To enable Ford to ensure the principles contained within the Policy are translated into action, a range of positive initiatives have been introduced. The initiatives include:

  • Awareness Workshops. Deals with attitudes relating to equal opportunities and provides information on Company policy and initiatives. Provides an overview of relevant legislation, individual responsibilities and the value of a diverse workforce.
  • Joint Statement. A Joint Statement on Equal Opportunity has been signed by Ford and the Unions representing the Ford workforce. The statement has been issued across the Company.
  • Selection and Interviewer Training. Provides participants with the skills necessary to make objective selection decisions.
  • Group Leader Training. Includes a session covering equal opportunities issues and their impact on the workplace.
  • Assessor Training. Training is provided for all Ford managers who participate as assessors at Assessment Centres. Assessment Centres are now used as part of the selection process for all graduate hiring within Ford to help ensure objective and effective selection decisions.
  • Mentor Schemes. Ford participates in a national scheme to provide mentors for ethnic minority students.
  • Equal Opportunities Committees. Many Ford locations have established Equal Opportunities Committees to review the implementation of the Policy and to introduce local initiatives in the workplace.
  • Language Training. Aimed at employees whose first language is not English, but open to any individual who would benefit from improved communication skills.
  • CD-ROM Course. Ford and the Unions representing the workforce have jointly developed a CD-ROM course which emphasises the benefits of a working environment which is free from unfair discrimination and harassment. A section of the course explores the benefits of an equal opportunities policy.
  • Windsor Fellowship. Ford supports a national scheme to provide sponsorship for ethnic minority students through the Windsor Fellowship.

Ford | The role of an equal opportunities policy