chapter  1
24 Pages

Introduction

Traditionally equal opportunities policies (EOPs) have been the main organizational tool used to tackle gender and race discrimination. However, over the last 10 years or so a diversity discourse, originating in the USA, has become more prominent in the UK. This recognizes broader dimensions of diversity including less visible bases of difference. Employers are exhorted to develop policy to harness workforce diversity towards business goals. From the diversity perspective, EOPs, with their emphasis on the social justice case for equality, are viewed as being less able to meet the social and economic challenges of the new millennium (Kandola and Fullerton 1998). Many advocates within the Human Resource Management (HRM) fi eld suggest that diversity management (DM) is a more effective means of achieving equality for all. Moreover, it is clear from the global diversity literature that the diversity concept has taken hold in most of the industrialized world, including mainland Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.