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Bill Green, former Accenture CEO, once asserted that, "Our success as a company depends on creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels respected and is treated fairly." This sentiment underpins the vital importance of addressing Employment Discrimination in our organizations. In the complex roadmap towards Corporate Excellence, this topic stands out as a hill to climb—it is an issue intertwined with company culture, leadership dynamics, and organizational Health and Performance.

Employment Discrimination represents bias in hiring, promoting or terminating employees based on their race, age, gender, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected under law. Businesses should view this issue not just as a legal mandate but also as a Strategic Planning dimension. Fair treatment transcends the company's legal and moral responsibilities—it also correlates with higher organizational performance. A 2018 McKinsey report demonstrated that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.

The Consequences of Discrimination

Ignoring Employment Discrimination leads not only to legal repercussions but also a slew of damaging scenarios that should concern diligent executives. Discrimination impacts the company's effectiveness, Innovation capacity, and market reputation, resulting in possible financial loss. In 2017, Accenture's "Getting to Equal" report found that an inclusive work environment enhances an employee’s innovative mindset by a staggering 83 percent.

Establishing Non-Discriminatory Policies

A vital part of the Strategy Development is to create explicit, enforceable policies that protect employees against Employment Discrimination. These policies should capitalize on Diversity and Inclusion, aiming for an environment where individual differences inspire Innovation and drives business growth.

These policies should include but not be limited to:

Training and Awareness

Enforcement of non-discriminatory policies alone is not enough for Investment in Employee Development. Organizations need to embark on continuous awareness programs and mandatory training sessions about Sensitivity and Fair Employment Practices. Employees should understand not only the policies but also the reasons behind them. A well-informed workforce can better recognize, prevent, and react to instances of Employment Discrimination.

Establishing Accountability and Enforcement

For these processes to be effective, there must be clear Leadership accountability and strict enforcement of policies. A designated Diversity Officer or an equivalent executive should be responsible for monitoring adherence and addressing any breaches. Employees should be encouraged to report discrimination without fear and should be assured of the company's commitment to addressing issues swiftly and effectively.

Action beyond Policy

Reducing Employment Discrimination goes beyond formal policies—it requires a transformation in Organizational Culture. It involves adopting practices that promote equality and address implicit biases. Managers should be encouraged to regularly review their biases and assumptions and to base employment decisions on fact and merit alone. This culture shift is crucial for Digital Transformation and disruption readiness, as diverse teams are more likely to drive innovative solutions.

Beyond the bottom line, fostering a culture free from Employment Discrimination is part of the overall responsibility of business towards its employees and society at large. As Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, aptly put it, "The corporate sector has a critical role to play in addressing systemic bias, discrimination and inequality."


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