Many organizations across our City have awaken to the fact that diversity makes us stronger and has measurable benefits besides the fact that it is the right thing to do. A diversity initiative is an organizations strategic response to diversity. The initiative looks at the internal and external needs of the organization in the area of diversity and responds with a strategically aligned approach.

Initiatives can have a short or long-term focus, as well as specific goals and objectives. It should also be easily measurable and tied to the organization’s overall business strategy. In terms of implementing the initiative, the entire organization – from the top down – should be held accountable for implementation and the overall success.

What does it entail?

Usually organizations begin with a statement by top management that the initiative is an organizational priority. The initiative must have visible support from top management in order to be effective; it should also have long-term organizational viability and sustainability.

According to a 2001 Society for Human Resource Management/Fortune survey, the majority of the 121 US HR professionals who responded said that diversity initiatives affect their organizations’ bottom lines in several positive ways including:

  • improved corporate culture
  • improved recruitment of new employees
  • improved client relations
  • improved productivity

ACAO has been central to many of the ongoing initiatives with organizations such as OPS and the School Boards. We will continue to offer valuable services to our partners in this area until Ottawa becomes the best place to live and work for all people.

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