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EQDI6018 : Equality And Diversity

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EQDI6018 : Equality And Diversity

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EQDI6018 : Equality And Diversity

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Course Code: EQDI6018
University: Greenwich School Of Management is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United Kingdom

1. Identify an organisation of your choice, either one that you are familiar with/worked for or one that has a high profile in the media (to be agreed with the tutor). Investigate the organisation’s policies of equality and diversity within the workplace.
Your investigation should include the following factors:• Information on the composition of the organisation’s workforce at its various levels;• The organisation’s policies around recruitment of diverse groups;• The ways in which the organisation supports and develops the diverse needs of its employees for example, flexible working, trainee schemes for women, talent and succession planning.
2. Following your research, evaluate how these policies fit within the company’s overall business strategy. In your evaluation, you should decide on how successful their current HR initiatives in equality and diversity are in supporting their business strategy. For example, you may wish to look at the company’s efforts in becoming global or ways in which the company can have a more diverse senior management team.
3. Based on your evaluation, devise a strategy for the company that you consider will address some of the issues that you have identified. Your strategy should identify the following:• What the key issues are• What you recommend the company should do• Ways in which the company can address these issues with clear objectives, actions, resources required and their justification andtimeframes to complete them in.

Marks and Spencer Group is a major multinational retailer company in the UK. The Marks and Spencer Company is also known as M&S or MS. Mark and Spencer established in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds. M&S currently operates more than 1000 retail outlets in the UK and has more than 85,000 employees who serve more than 33 million customers in a week (Marks and Spencer, 2018). M&S is one of the nation’s leading sellers in clothing, food, and home products and it continuously expanding it. The head office of M&S is in London. M&S was the first retailer Company that achieve £1 billion tax-free profit in 1998. Currently, M&S operates its business in 53 countries with the commitment to their core values of inspiration, innovation, integrity, and in touch.
The M&S has a diverse range of employees having different culture and values, but M&S committed to providing an equal opportunities policy that applies on all. This policy and procedure not only cover the recruitment and selection process, but it applies to the initial phase of training and development, performance appraisal, promotion opportunities and eventually to retirement. M&S is known for its women employability approach where female workers are more in numbers in comparing to male employees that creates gender equality problems for the organisation. In recent days, the rapid organisational transformation of M&S creates a number of issues related to their workforce and Human resource management. This transformational change in the company leads to a widespread change in the company’s behaviour and attitude and putting high pressure on its employees and their performance. It was an emergent change where the employees of the M&S, had to develop and adjust to new ways of a flatter organisational structure. They also have to develop their self-according to the new ways of operations under the new business unit. In this report, we will discuss the policy and procedure of M&S and their current issues related to the workforce management.
Finding and Analysis
The Mark and Spencer Company is one of the largest retailers in the UK and focusing on providing quality clothing, food, and home products to its customer with its intention to provide the right thing, in right way, for their customers, colleagues, suppliers, shareholders, and its communities. Every organisation has some goals and objectives that can be achieved through the integrated efforts of various resources including human resources. A proper organisational structure helps to achieve these targets and goals without any wastage of resources (Barak, 2017). The size of the organisation determines the size and levels of organisational structure (EwijkVan, 2011). However, M&S is a large retail business organisation, which follows the flat organizational structure. Thus, M&S has limited levels of management between top-level administrative officers and bottom level front-line employees. This organisation structure allows freedom and authority in decision-making to the lower level employees in M&S. This structure pyramid reduces the communication between upper-level employers and baseline employees, which allows rapid decision-making and action. As of 1st April 2017, M&S has more than 85000 employees, including 61,640 (72%) female employees and 23,869 (28%) male employees. The focus of the M&S group is on women employment and this is clearly shown in the figure of 2018 employee diversity records. The number of female senior managers in M&S is also 42.7% (Marks & Spencer, 2018).  
M&S leads the way in many existing diversity and insertion initiatives. The M&S recognize as the best company of women employment from last seven consecutive years. The M&S group is known for their strong flexible working policy and balanced gender equality network not only at the bottom level, rather in the Board of members group as well. The M&S is committed to maintaining at least 30% female representation in the Board of Members group. Therefore, the top priority is given to the female employees and their employability in the M&S organisation (Wilson, 2014).
Recruitment Process of Diverse Group in M&S
The M&S considers all the statutory rights of the country where it recruits people. It supports and respect for international human rights rules and regulation all over the word during recruiting employees for the organisation. The company establishes and implementing all the appropriate policies and procedures, which follows the local national law, and follows the company’s value and ethics in all the countries where it operates its business (Bond and Haynes, 2014). The M&S also provides a clearly written and understandable form of information about its employment term and conditions, arrangements, including wages, working hours, and holidays. The company is focusing on providing permanent employment wherever it is possible.  
Facilities and support for the diverse workgroups
The M&S Company focuses on providing an adequate working environment for its employees and a fair remuneration in turn of their works and performance. It does not matter from which culture or country their employee belongs.  
Discrimination and equal opportunities
M&S treated its employees equally irrespective of their gender, race, age, culture, colour, religion, belief, martial, disability or working hours. M&S is committed to providing a discrimination, harassment and victimisation free environment for their employees regardless of their culture or diversity, where all decisions are relating to achieving the organisational objective and free from biased (Wormely, 2016). The working culture of M&S focuses on improving the work performance of an individual and the performance appraisal is based on their individual merit.  
Disciplinary procedures
M&S ensures that all the employees give their best to the organisation and are aware of the standard performance level. It ensures that they give their best in their performance by not doing any misconduct, avoiding poor attendance and behaving in a professional way with the focus on supporting improvement.  
Healthy and safe working conditions
M&S provides a safe and clean work environment including working accommodations and working conditions for both male and female employees. The commitment of the company includes preventing any injuries and accidents during work (Marks & Spencer, 2016).
M&S provides the reward to their employees without any biased regardless of their country, culture or colour. Regardless of where the employees work in the world, they are paid regularly and on time. M&S provides fair remuneration and wages for their employees and deductions are based on legally allowed rules according to the local company and wages law (Petty, 2016).  
Working Hours  
M&S ensures that working hours of all the employees comply with the national laws, relevant international standards, or benchmark industry standards. The total working hours in a week must not exceed than 60 hours in a week. Any overtime above contractual is voluntary. If it exceeds than 60 hours, then it will only be allowed in special circumstances where national labour law permitted for more than 60 hours of working (GOV.UK, 2013).
Women and child labour
The M&S retail company make sure that not employing anyone younger than the minimum legal age for employment in the country. M&S not providing work for those people who are below 15 years or 18 years of age. It also ensures that those people are not eligible for doing any work who are not completing the compulsory age of education.  The M&S provide safety for women employees. M&S provides travelling facilities for the work at night and make sure that they are safe and secure during and after the job (Fiona, 2015).
Training and Development of employees  
M&S provide training and development opportunities for all the employees including female workers. The training and development facilities support to improve both business and personal performance of the employee (Bierema, 2010). Women are the key of M&S Company who are very large in numbers. Therefore, M&S gives special attention to the training of female employees.  
In order to always ‘do the right thing in the right way’ for its customers, the M&S group always consider the global principles and international standards regarding, human rights, labour rights, women’s empowerment and safety and sanitation (Green et. al., 2015). It follows the rules and regulations of various international standards and benchmark for their successful operation of business all over the world.
Workforce Diversity and Equality in M&S
As M&S always focuses on spread the business operation all over the world by increasing their international presence and build a leadership position in top retail markets, it is essential for the company to proper management of diverse workgroup. As a futuristic company, M&S has to focus on its diverse workforce and its need and requirements from the company. The HR policy of the company ensures that there should not be any biased based on gender, culture, or colour etc. in any country where the M&S operates its business (Johnsen, Tatli, and Ozbilgin, 2013). M&S always provide work training for its employees and evaluates their works on the performance basis. The employees with high performance are often selected for more challenging roles. To manage workforce diversity and equality, the M&S launched a women’s network that was created in 2014 to promote the progress of women and provide the facilities to connect with the world enlarge their mentoring and networking opportunities (Kim, 2008). M&S known for its workforce diversity, thus it provides equal opportunities for the employees who belong to a different culture, community and countries. The M&S launched a program name ‘Marks and Start and Make Your Mark’ to provide equal employment opportunity for all the peoples. The different culture and types of people make M&S stronger and encourage everyone to be who they want to be. The M&S responds to the needs and desire of their customers and employees by fulfil their needs and desires and feels pride. The ‘diversity and inclusion’ strategy the company wants to increase opportunity, innovation, diversity, creativity and personal development for others. The M&S also invested in a number of pilot schemes that support women and employees of the organisation from different place and culture.
Challenges for manage diverse workforce
Manage the diverse workforce in a large organisation such as M&S is a challenge for the company. Managing diversity is a more complex task than simply differentiate people according to their culture. A large number of diverse peoples are not easy to handle if the organisation is not prepared in advance to deal with their differences, values, and combating discriminations (Kossek, Lewis, and Hammer, 2010). Then the skills and training of managers play an important role to handle the types of issues in the large organisations. M&S known for its workforce diversity, but it is also facing the various challenges to manage this large diverse workforce.  These challenges are as follows:
Legal Considerations
M&S has to face normally the legal challenges related to work, wages, working environments, and human rights law, which varies from country to country. It creates a problem for the organisation to balance organisational policy and procedures with the law of other countries regarding the workforce management.
Relevant Employment legislation and standards
Law and standards in different countries related to work and wages are different. This is one of the major problems to manage different rules and regulations of the countries and merge with the organisational rules and regulations.
Human rights
M&S faces problems related to human rights complaints from the different workplace of other countries. Although M&S follows the international standards of benchmark and standards related to work and wages, it cannot be possible to ignore the local law related to work and wages; neither can it ignore local human rights rules and regulations (Rice, 2010).
M&S faces problems when it has to face different response to authority, communication, shame, encouragement, and law related to work. M&S cannot respond or behave everywhere in the same way. Apart from these challenges, the M&S face cultural and contextual conflicts (Lyons, 2018). The M&S need to train its employees and develop different programs that harness their diversity and make them sensitive towards different cultures at work.
Organisational policies and HR strategies of M&S
As M&S operates in the highly competitive retail market, it is essential for the M&S to retain and train its employees for its long-term sustainability and growth. HR policies of M&S help the company to reinforce it when necessary. In fact, HR operation is a key element in M&S organisational strategy to retain highly skilled employees for its business operation in various countries. M&S is known for its large number of talent hiring from different countries (Thompson, 2018).  The M&S provides equal opportunity to the people from the different geographical background. This is a part of their HR strategies to expand its business operation all over the world. The M&S keep in mind their organisational objectives and make all their decisions according to their long-term plan and goals. It gives a competitive advantage to the M&S over its competitors. The company review the changes in attitude and application of the internal policy of the organisation. M&S conducted regular training and staff awareness programs that support the equal opportunity aim of the company (Warman, 2012). M&S comply with the legislation of their partner country where it operates its business and communicates to their stakeholders about their responsibility to protect the company and individual both by following ethical work at the workplace and in the organisation. The HR policies of the company also consider the security and safety of the disabled employees and people connected to the company by adjustment in the policies and ensure that they are not placed at a substantial disadvantage by a practice or policy that exists at M&C (Peretz and Fried, 2012). The HR policies of the company take care of its employees and ensure that there should not be any biased based on their diversity. This HR approach of the M&S provides a competitive advantage over others and helps to sustain in the market even after the higher competition.  
The organisation structure of the M&S is a flatter structure that provides freedom in decision-making for its employees, but they cannot be able to increase the sale of the organisation from the last few years. To remove these problems M&S needs to understand the work-related issues and try to work on them. M&S should provide proper training and development programs for its new employees and proper HR practices needed for management of the diverse workforce. The M&S should try to retain their employees that save money and time for the organisation. M&S should give preference to those people who think about the company and its future. M&S recruits a large number of people from other countries, thus it is necessary to take care of cross-cultural issues and values. The selection of employees should be based on behavioural characteristics and their individual knowledge and skills.
Marks and Spencer is a leading retail company in the UK, which is very well recognized organisation in the retail business of clothing, food, and home products. The company is well known for its workforce diversity and women employment. The major focus of the company is to provide equal opportunity for all in employment by doing the right thing in a right way. However, in current days, the company is facing problems regarding their diverse workforce management and low footfalls at their outlets. The main problem behind this is a big transformation in the business organisation where small revenue organisations are forced to shut down because of low footfalls. M&S is hiring new employees from different countries and provide training to them for operating the business in different countries. This transformation of the organisation needs a proper HR practice and management of the diverse workforce. However, it creates problems for the organisation such as putting high pressure on its new employees and their performance. For future growth and improving its sells in near future, the company has to focus on employees, selection and training be considering the organisational long-term objective. The company should also focus on proper HR practices in the organisation to manage their large size of the diverse workforce.
Barak, M.E.M. (2017) Managing diversity toward a globally inclusive workplace. 4th ed. London. UK: SAGE Publication.
Bierema, L.L. (2010) Diversity Education, Competencies and Strategies for educators. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12(3), pp. 312-331.
Bond, A.M. and Haynes, C.M. (2014) Workplace Diversity: A Social-Ecological Framework and Policy Implications. Social Issues and Privacy Reviews, 8(1), pp. 167-201.
EwijkVan, R.A. (2011) Diversity and diversity policy: diving into fundamental differences. Journal of organisational change management, 24(5), pp. 680-694.
Fiona, M. (2015) Our difference make us stronger [online]. Available from: [Accessed from: 26/07/2018].
GOV.UK (2013) Think, Act, Report: Marks & Spencer [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26/7/2018].
Green, K., Lopez, M., Wysocki, A., Kepner, K., Farnsworth, D., and Clark, L.J. (2015) Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26/07/2018].
Johnsen, K., Tatli, A., and Ozbilgin, F. (2013) The tragedy of the un-commons: Reframing workforce diversity. Human Relations, 66(2), p. 04.
Kim, B.Y (2008) Managing Workforce Diversity. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 5(2), pp. 69-90.
Kossek, E., Lewis, S., and Hammer, L. (2010). Work-family initiatives and organizational change: Mixed messages in moving from the margins to the mainstream. Human Relations, 61(7), pp. 3–19.
Lyons, E. (2018) M&S: We do sometimes get diversity wrong but we learn from our mistakes [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25/07/2018].
Marks & Spencer (2016) Code of ethics and behaviours [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25/07/2018].
Marks & Spencer (2018) Developing Intercultural Competence [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25/07/2018].
Marks & Spencer (2018) M&S Gender Pay Gap Report 2018: Diversity, Inclusivity & Gender Pay [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26/07/2018].
Peretz, H. and Fried, Y. (2012) National cultures, performance appraisal practices, and organizational absenteeism and turnover: A study across 21 countries. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(4), pp. 448–459.
Petty, L. (2016) How Equality and diversity improve your workplace: Examining the benefits [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26/07/2018].
Rice, F.M. (2010) Diversity and Public Administration. 2nd ed. New York, USA: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.
Thompson, N. (2018) Promoting Equality: Working with Diversity and Difference. 4th ed. London, UK: Palgrave of Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Warman, D. (2012) Marks & Spencer [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26/07/2018].
Wilson, M.A. (2014) Diversity, Culture and the Glass Ceiling. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(3), p. 83.
Wormely, R. (2016) Everything You Need to Know About Diversity in the Workplace [online]. Available from: [Accessed: 25/07/2018].

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