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first_imgMore firms recognise how diversity pays dividendsOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. There has been a significant increase over the past 12 months in the numberof organisations that have a clear business case for having race issues on theboardroom agenda. Race for Opportunity’s (RfO) Top 100 report, to be launched tomorrow, showsthe proportion of organisations that have a business case for diversity linkedto business objectives has increased over the last year from 45 per cent to 63per cent. Allan Leighton, RfO chairman, said the report, based on a survey of 120employers, shows an increasing commitment from UK plc to ethnic minorities inall aspects of business. However, warns Leighton, who is also chairman of the Royal Mail, if businessleaders fail to face up to the need for a business strategy on race, they willsuffer both commercially and in terms of branding. “Quite simply, communities equal profitable customers and potentialemployees. If you rely on traditional perceptions of who these groups are, you limityour pool of talent and your target market,” he said. The top performer in this year’s study is Lloyds TSB. The firm has embeddeddiversity in its business strategy and can demonstrate the impact it is makingon the bottom line. It has witnessed a 30 per cent increase in sales in somebranches where staffing has been changed to reflect the ethnicity of customersand a dramatic reduction in ethnic minority staff turnover. Mike Fairey, deputy group chief executive at Lloyds TSB, said:”Effective leadership at all levels, not just at the board but rightthrough all levels of management, is vital to improving performance onrace.” www.raceforopportunity.org.ukBy Quentin ReadeKey facts– 63 per cent of respondents have a clear business case fordiversity linked to business objectives.– 90 per cent understand the values and aspirations ofdifferent ethnic minority customers and – 97 per cent claim to have evaluated this in financial terms– 98 per cent of RfO organisations have a board-level‘champion’ for racial diversity– 81 per cent are developing links with schools in areas highlypopulated by ethnic minorities and– 60 per cent are involved with local ethnic minority trainingprojectslast_img read more

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