National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity, Swinburne
University of Technology
Equity By Any Other Name?
How do Managing Diversity initiatives compete with or complement
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action (AA)
policies and programs? How are the discourses of social justice,
and the business case for diversity, being framed in corporate
and educational sectors as drivers of diversity initiatives?
Data from our survey of corporate and higher education organisations
and our experience of training and consultancy in both these
sectors show some key differences in regards to (a) how AA and
Diversity are positioned, valued and prioritised (b) how social
justice and the business case are being privileged in the two
sectors and (c) how the relationship between AA and Diversity
is understood. These data suggest that Higher Education is leading
the way with Diversity, with most work directed to students and
not academic staff. Tensions surrounding the ongoing use of EEO/AA
categories in Diversity programs are also occurring in both sectors
and producing confusion within the field.
30 min paper