National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Sue Lewis

Ros Harris

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.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops