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Explore the ways in which Equal Opportunities policies can work towards eliminating discrimination and inequality in the workplace and wider society.

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Equal Opportunities policies can work towards eliminating discrimination and inequality in the workplace and wider society. The term ?equal opportunities? is now very widely used in the subject of employment. It promotes the idea that everyone within an organisation should have an equal chance to apply and be selected for positions, opportunities for training and promotions, and to have their employment terminated fairly. There should be no discrimination on the employee?s sex, sexuality, age, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or marital status. To prevent discrimination, the equal opportunities policy is introduced. It is a written code of practices aimed at eliminating workplace discrimination. These policies include set targets and quotas and requirement for compliance. This means that employers are forced to obey or faces legal actions. Equal opportunities policies are strongly influenced by the anti sex and race discrimination legislations that started in 1970?s (Kirton and Greene, 2005, p198). Even though equal opportunities policies are different in every organisation, most comply with the following legislations: Equal Pay Act, Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act, and Employment Equality Regulations (www.aboutequalopportunities.co.uk). ...read more.

Middle

Over the past 30 years, the workplace has changed dramatically. ?Women have become more empowered giving them the opportunity to seek career progression which had previously been denied to them. Disabled people who can work are being helped back to work and offered the same opportunities as able-bodied people and economic globalisation of business has meant that managers must be aware of cultural and race issues? (www.safeworkers.co.uk/EqualOpportunitiesWork.html). If equal opportunities policies continue to improve, it can result to lesser discrimination and inequality. All employees will have a workplace that is free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. All employees are selected for recruitment and promotion based on their skills, experience and performance. And lastly, they will have equal access to benefits and fair allocations of workloads. However, equal opportunities policies are far from perfect. Despite legislations and policies, it is still a challenge for some employers to make the policy work and to make considerable improvements. According to Kirton and Greene (2005), some organisations and businesses still have a pay gap between their men and women. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my own opinion, I think that there are businesses and organisations that are genuinely against discrimination and inequality, and their equal opportunities policies are working perfectly well. An example that I can give is my current work placement. My work placement deals with people with mental health difficulties. Equality is promoted among all the staff and our clients, and since my time there, no discrimination occurred. However, some workplaces have equal opportunities policies that do not fully work. For example, after being interviewed for the receptionist position in a nearby hotel, I had a quick look in the reception where I saw all receptionists that are females, young and quite pretty. I had a feeling then that my chances of getting the job may be very slim. It turns out I was right. Another example is my recent employment at a big supermarket. It is very noticeable that almost all the staffs that are getting picked from managerial training program are all young, white men. In addition, in my 4 years of employment there, we have had 3 different general managers, and they are all white and males. ...read more.

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