Welcome to the Autumn edition of the UWA Business School eBiz!
Thank you for the feedback we have received regarding eBiz. We are pleased to hear from you and we will continue to ensure eBiz is interesting and relevant to our students, alumni, supporters and the wider business community.
The Consortium for Diversity at Work (CDW) at the Business School is a forum for academics exploring diversity issues in the workplace. The work of CDW allows us to apply some academic rigour to a number of diversity issues in today's business environment, to describe them in a non-emotional, data-driven way and to diagnose causes and suggest solutions. If we treat the issue of attracting and retaining the best talent, regardless of gender, race or sexuality in the same way that we treat any other business issue, then we are certain to come up with workable solutions
We hope that the Consortium will be a catalyst for ideas about diversity and work. We have a steady stream of internationally renowned visitors and our own team is working with a number of organisations to understand their issues and develop programs enabling leaders to better deal with diversity at work.
At the core of diversity at work is the concept of teamwork. Most business people would agree that better results are often achievable through the work of teams. Teams allow the bringing together of a variety of experiences and opinions which typically lead to higher quality and more robust outcomes than the efforts of individuals working independently. Diversity at work - bringing together people with different experiences, different demographics and different insights - makes it easier to form high-performing, innovative teams that are more likely to result in creativity and breakthrough ideas and less likely to overlook opportunities.
Diversity at work is also about talent retention. More and more often we hear CEO's citing talent retention as their most pressing challenge. For organisations to continue to attract the most talented recruits and to be an ‘employer of choice', it is essential that they recruit diverse groups of workers and retain them to leadership positions. If organisations are not successful at this challenge then they will be less effective, their costs will increase as losing talent unnecessarily is expensive, and they will not represent and serve their communities in the best possible way.
A classic example demonstrating one aspect of diversity is the lack of women in leadership. Women now make up approximately 45% of today's workforce, 50% of school and university graduates and in many firms 50% of graduate recruits. Yet, typically less than 10% of an organisation's leadership teams are women. How can this be? Are organisations only promoting from half of their talent pool?
Furthermore, it's not just a matter of time for this situation to change as despite organisations hiring large numbers of female graduates for many years, the percentage of women filtering through to senior levels has remained stagnant for more than 10 years.
UWA Business School Dean