Comparative Report on Diversity and Diversity Management in Austria, The Czech Republic, Poland and Spain

Bereich: Technik & Wissen

Diversity management is often associated with multinational companies where expatriates or mobile workers are the main beneficiaries or target group. However, diversity is not about the ‘others’ (= underrepresented groups in the workforce), it is about every ‘human being’. Linking ‘diversity’ with the term ‘management’ implies the possibility to direct diversity in a productive and targeted way. Its objective is to create an environment where every employee can develop his or her full potential and creativity.

Tuned UP! -- promoting "Diversity Ambassadors" within companies
The project Tuned Up! aims at improving the diversity management competences of employers and employees in SMEs. This should be achieved through the development of innovative learning instruments (e-tools), guidelines for employers and human resource managers and the promotion of the role of “Diversity ambassadors” within companies.
The first output of Tuned Up! is a comparative analysis of diversity and diversity management in SMEs in Austria, The Czech Republic, Poland and Spain.

Looking for good practice in SME: an analyses in four countries
The purpose of this study was to analyse the socio-demographic profile of the population and the workforce in the four countries under scrutiny, to analyse infrastructures that fosters diversity management in the four countries (Diversity Charter, awards) and to identify good practice examples for diversity management in SME.
The analysis show large difference between the countries in the socio-demographic profile of their workforce. For example, in Czech Republic the employment rate of the age group 55 to 64 years is 52 % compared to 45 % in Austria. In Spain more than one third of the working population has a low educational level (level 0-2) while in Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic the proportion of low educated in the workforce is considerable smaller. In Poland and Spain women are considerably higher educated than men, which is not the case for Austria. Anyhow in all four countries women are underrepresented in leading positions.

Diversity Charter
With regard to diversity management, the time range of the implementation the Diversity Charter varies: the Charter was launched in Austria in 2010, in Czech Republic in late 2014, in Poland in 2012 and in Spain already in 2009. However, in all countries, the overwhelming majority of signatories are multinational or large companies. While the focus of signatories of the Austrian and Spanish Diversity Charter lies on various diversity dimensions (e.g. gender, age, ethnic background, religion, disability), among Polish signatories a strong focus on age and gender can be observed. The focus on different diversity dimensions is also reflected in awards available in the four countries. Only Austria has diversity management awards with a focus migration and sexual orientation.

Further highlights of the analyses
The comparative analysis of the four country reports shows some considerable variations regarding both the socio-demographic labour market profiles and the degree of the implementation of managing diversity.

Austria has to put more efforts towards age management and equal pay.

In Czech Republic generally more could be investigated towards diversity managing, particularly in relation to the considerable gender gap in leading positions. The provision of diversity related awards would support the business case of diversity.

Poland should approach via diversity management a better age management of the workforce, and a better recognition of the high percentage of female talents for leadership positions.

In Spain it seems for the degree of implementation of diversity management could be more done, both related to the provision of diversity awards as well as corporate level. A better age management for the sake of youth employment is clearly in the foreground; also towards equal pay diversity management could make a contribution.

The findings of this study will feed into all other activities of the Tuned UP! project such as the development of e-tools and information material.

Bibliographical references

  • Schwarz-Wölzl, Maria, Caroline Manahl (2015): Diversity and Diversity Management in Austria, The Czech Republic, Poland and Spain. Comparative Report. Project TUNED UP! Tools under the Need of Enhancing Diversity: Output 1. Vienna

AutorInnen: Schwarz-Woelzl, M., Manahl, C.


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Tags: diversity, social inclusion, social innovation

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Kategorie: Projekt Outputs

Publikations Datum: 2015

Bezug: Online (download)