Challenge of Diversity in Workplace: Experts to Offer Solutions for the Future

KARACHI (December 02, 2011) – The low representation of women in the boardroom, growing income inequality, and the retention of talent have all been prominent in recent news headlines. To better understand the challenges of workplace diversity, expert opinion and research findings will form the content of three global Expert Panels all centred on the theme of Diversity – launched today by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The Expert Panels are roundtables bringing together key thinkers to debate and develop new thinking on managing diversity in businesses.

The first Panel event took place in Delhi, India on the 17 November 2011, with further events planned for Shanghai on the 9 December 2011 and London on the 17 January 2012. The Panel chair is Alison Maitland, a journalist, author and expert on leadership, diversity, and the changing world of work.

To support wider debate a website has also been launched, including an opinion piece by Ms Maitland called Harnessing diversity for global business performance.

Arif Mirza, head of ACCA Pakistan, says: “The ultimate aim with these roundtables is to influence policy and to get a debate going. Diversity means different things to different people in different places. But for ACCA and the ESRC we want to explore the link between diversity and innovation and in particular the benefits to organisations in encouraging diversity to achieve business benefits. We specifically don't want to focus on diversity being an ethical or moral issue but rather want to point to the potential benefits to business of harnessing a range of perspectives.”

Astrid Wissenburg, Director of Partnerships and Communications from the ESRC, says: “These unique Expert Panels provide an opportunity for international debate around the complex challenges of diversity for global business. It is clear that social science has an important role in understanding these challenges and the role of diversity in developing innovation. By bringing together a global group of experts in these locations, I am confident we will ensure a better appreciation of the relationships between diversity and innovation from both business and research perspectives.”

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