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In France in 2004, the government launched the Charter of Corporate Diversity. This text aims to encourage moral commitment in signatory companies and has to ensure the promotion and respect for diversity in their workforce. By signing, these companies are committed to fight against all forms of discrimination and to develop an approach for diversity. 33 large companies and SMEs will be the first signatories in 2004. In September 2009 the number of signatories stands at over 25,004.
This text is a charter that has a moral value (not legal), but this charter reminds important principles of French law; that they are mandatory, the principle of equality before the law, the respect of human dignity and the prohibition of discrimination.
What are commitments?
It allows to promote pluralism and to seek diversity through recruitment. Career management is a factor of progress for the company. Such an approach contributes to its effectiveness and quality of social relationships. It can have a positive effect on the brand image, external providers and consumers in France and the rest of the world.
This is based on 6 points:
Be sensible and train managers and employees involved in the recruitment, training and career management issues of non-discrimination and diversity.
Respect and promote the principle of non-discrimination in all its forms and in all stages of human resource management that include hiring, training, advancement or professional employees.
Seek to reflect the diversity of French society and especially its cultural and ethnic diversity in the workforce.
Communicate with all of employees the commitment to non-discrimination and diversity, and information on practical results of this commitment.
To the development and implementation of diversity policy a subject of dialogue with staff representatives.
Include in the annual report, a chapter describing the commitment to non-discrimination and diversity: measures implemented, practices and results.
Examples of concrete actions:
Be aware and educate:
The company can make its commitment by a press release that presents its action plan. Internally, the CEO of a company can send a letter to all of his employees in which he announces the signing of the Charter of the diversity and the reasons for this approach. For example, this letter may be sent to the employee's home with his paycheck. He mentions the commitments made by the company at that time. This approach allows to assert that the diversity policy is integrated into the overall strategy of the company, diversity becomes an imperative because it is recognized as a performance lever.
In relations with its stakeholders (shareholders, customers, suppliers, temporary employment agencies, training centers and learning, candidates, etc..), The company may remember its commitment if it put the logo signatory to the diversity Charter on its documents.
Beyond its commitment to ethics, to define the basis of an approach to diversity that is sustainable and consistent with its strategy, the company examines interests to its priority issues: attract and retain new employees, optimize management skills, anticipating his pyramid, promote business innovation, improve its image and reputation ... at the end of this discussion, it may define its priority themes (women / men equality, senior employment, employability, disability, access to employment of people from neighborhoods ...).
The company may establish a diagnosis procedures of human resource management in order to study their suitability with the principle of non-discrimination. To determine if there is any direct or indirect discriminatory criteria (a procedure can generate an apparently neutral non-intentional discrimination), the company will review its procedures for recruitment, access to training, professional development, compensation, etc...
In the context of recruitment, the company must adapt its procedures and practices in order not to be unfavorable to diversity. Example: when recruiting master level, do not specify a particular institution which should be from the candidate.
Recruit and promote in a different way:
A company can participate to recruitment forums dedicated to diversity. It will allow it to meet candidates from diverse origins and show its opening and its positioning against discrimination.
A company that does not need recruitment, has to be careful to book his internship priority to students from diverse backgrounds and to establish contacts with universities located in sensitive areas.
A company can set objectives, for example in a job interview, equal pay or increase the representation of several groups: workers with disabilities, women, seniors, etc… These goals are not quotas, because there is not an obligation of result. They represent a growth objectives that the company will acquire the means of achieving, evaluating the candidates belonging to a group based on their own skills and abilities.
For companies that do not have internal communication tools, displaying the Diversity Charter in the premises can be a way to remember this commitment and to show the diversity in the values â€‹â€‹of the company.
Remind what is diversity in the company during seminars or company conventions, can recall its commitments and communicate progress.
Evaluate, and show the different actions:
Company, whatever its size, can disseminate good practices that it has been put in place by with debates and working groups organized by a company network or business organization. It can also contribute to price or trophies for diversity.
For a listed company, it's important to communicate its actions, practices and results of diversity in its annual report. This communication allows to do an assessment of the various operations and establish an inventory
In reality, many companies doesn't apply this charter
What the law says:
We will see that diversity is often not respected, for example for the gender. Equal treatment between men and women in respect of the work involves several principles by the employer:
Prohibitions of discrimination in hiring,
Lack of differentiation for remuneration and career development,
Information of employees and job applicants and establish measures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Remedies and civil and criminal sanctions are provided in case of non-respect of gender equality. Companies with at least 50 employees will be subject to a penalty paid by the employer when they are not covered by an agreement or plan of action on equality in the workplace
But in reality, diversity is not applied, because there are different wages between men and women for the same work. In 2009 women earned for the same working time on average 20% less than men in the private sector and 13% less in the public sector. This wage difference between men and women that Insee said, in part, to a structure different qualifications. For example, 19% of executives in private sector employees are men against only 12% for women.
The gender differences are also visible in the activity rates and working time. If 70% of the population aged between 15 and 64 years is active (in the sense of the International Work Office), the figure drops to 66.1% for women and up to 75% for men.
Finally, women have more often a part-time job, because of the presence of children. For people without children, the proportion of women working in part-time is 17 points higher than for men. It is often an involuntary part-time job, because women are often working in the service sector where the use of part-time is the most important.