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Diversity management and equal opportunities: Comparison of the two approaches

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  1. Introduction
  2. Diversity management: A new approach in theory
    1. Difference is 'positively recognized'
    2. An individual-focused approach
    3. The ?business case overcomes the 'social justice case'
    4. A need of transformation of organization's cultures
  3. Diversity Management:?New approach
    1. Nothing new in practice
    2. "Valuing people? leads to ?value creation in business?
  4. Conclusion

Many types of initiatives have been taken by governments and organizations in order to promote women and minority groups. One that has been largely used for decades is the "equal opportunity" legislation. Equal opportunity is about assuring that every individual is treated on the same basis in the workplace, regarding employment, pay, or promotion, without any kind of discrimination: it is based on equality and justice. Organizations have therefore equality obligations, and have to comply with an anti-discrimination legislation. A new approach, known as "diversity management", has however been developed. One that, unlike the "equal opportunity" approach, aims to recognize and promote diversity. It is being presented as an alternative to the traditional approach. Bartz, 1990: "Understanding that there are differences among employees and that these differences, if properly managed, are an asset to work being done more efficiently and effectively, examples of diversity factors are race, culture, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and work experience."

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