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Diversity: not whether, but how!

publication date: Jan 28, 2012
author/source: BT Big Thinkers
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Diversity: not whether, but how!


It's universally acknowledged that an effective modern company should consist of a diverse leadership team and workforce.

On the BT Big Thinkers panel:
Libby Sartain -- Senior VP, Human Resources and Chief People Yahoo!;
Colonel Jim Bowden -- Director of Manning, UK Army;
Emily Duncan -- Vice President, Culture & Diversity, Hewlett-Packard Company;
Tatyana Kanzaveli -- Director of Sales, Luxoft
Hosted by Tim Smart -- President, BT Global Services, UK

Homogenous groups tend to have limited perspectives while a diverse board is able to consider questions from a much greater variety of points of view. As a result, they can deliver more informed decisions that serve the broadest set of stakeholders.

In addition, a workforce that is made up from a wide range of social and ethnic groups is able to draw from the best available individuals across the board, rather than from just part of the employable population.

But how does diversity work in practice?

What's the best way for a company to meld a diverse workforce into a strong corporate culture? And how can people from different cultures and temperaments work effectively in close-knit, productive teams?

There are other key questions to consider, too. For example, how can the prejudices of employees be overcome? What approaches do leading corporations use, and what challenges do they face?

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