The role of an equal opportunities policy
A Ford case study

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Page 2: Equal Opportunities Policy

‘I believe our diverse workforce can provide us with a competitive business advantage. Valuing the contributions of all people encourages their full commitment to both Company and personal goals and also allows us to attract, retain and develop the most talented individuals’ Alex Trotman Chairman - Ford Motor Company

This case study focuses on equal opportunities at Ford Motor Company. Ford has been committed to the principles behind equal opportunities in employment for a long time. It began ethnic monitoring of hourly personnel at Dagenham as long ago as 1967 and since then it has been involved in many initiatives designed to improve equal opportunities within the workplace. Ford’s Equal Opportunities Policy is a statement of the Company’s commitment to equal opportunities and provides the foundation for positive initiatives designed to support the key principles.

Policies are part of an organisation’s framework for action. These frameworks must not exist just on paper, but must operate in practice. A policy is a very important statement which sets out how an organisation is going to meet its objectives. It is a public way of making a commitment to the future and provides a framework for the whole organisation. In the area of equal opportunities, a policy shows a commitment not just to principles but also to values.

Ford’s Equal Opportunities Policy

Ford 3 Image 3Equal Opportunities in Ford. The Company’s commitment to the principle of equal opportunity in employment has been a long standing feature of its employment practices and procedures. The first policy statement was made in 1980, since when there have been further developments regarding protection against discrimination in employment.

The Company appreciates that, while much can be achieved by the development of legal measures, real progress can only be made by practical day to day commitment to promote equal opportunities at the grass roots level of the workplace. Ford considers it has a significant role to play as a major employer and welcomes this social responsibility.

The Company’s workforce reflects the mixed community from which it recruits employees. It is clear that the contribution made by minority groups and women to its business performance is substantial and increasing. It is also in the best interests of the Company, its management and all employees that these talents and resources are fully utilised. This can most effectively be achieved by taking action to foster a fully integrated community at work, through the practical implementation of an Equal Opportunities Policy.

This Policy is based upon the Company’s opposition to any form of less favourable treatment accorded to employees or job applicants on the grounds of race, religious beliefs, creed, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation, marital/parental status or sex. The Company is also opposed to any form of less favourable treatment accorded to employees or job applicants on the grounds of non-job related disabilities and unfair discrimination on the grounds of age.

To support these principles, the Company will actively promote equal opportunities through the application of employment policies which ensure that individuals receive treatment that is fair, equitable and consistent with their relevant aptitudes, potential, skills and abilities. To safeguard individual rights under the Policy, any employee who believes that he or she has been treated inequitably by the Company, within the scope of the Policy, may raise the matter through the appropriate grievance procedures. The Company will ensure that any employee making a complaint of unfair discrimination will be protected from victimisation.

Ford | The role of an equal opportunities policy