What do Buyers of Outsourcing Services Need to Understand about Diversity Management? | Article

By Outsourcing Center, Kathleen Goolsby, Senior Writer

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  • What do Buyers of Outsourcing Services Need to Understand about Diversity Management? | Article

Organizations are recognizing that diversity management in outsourcing makes a measurable difference in the potential return on investment (ROI). The diversity issue extends beyond a differing culture where offshore resources are involved. And it goes beyond ensuring that an organization employs a workforce of multiple races and ethnicities.

In outsourcing, managing diversity focuses on getting the best results out of the varied collections of people. Even people of the same ethnicity and culture are diverse. Managing diversity is a huge opportunity but also a huge challenge.

Joe Santana, Senior Director of Diversity at Siemens USA, says, "One of the biggest vulnerabilities that an outsourcer faces when taking on a new client is rapidly understanding and managing similarities and differences of experiences represented within the client's culture." He adds that poor management of diversity can lead to "total disaster" and failure in an outsourcing relationship.

Read more of Santana's insights about effective diversity management in Outsourcing Buzz Blog. The blog interview also discusses how to start a diversity management program to address the challenges and opportunities.

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Comments 2

  • Diversity means different things to different cultures whether it is BPO or CRM or health care. The US-style affirmative action model has been tried in Brazil’s inclusive society where everybody is Brazilian without checking an affirmative action box and it has not met with success. Some companies now divide Latin markets as Spanish speaking Latin America (SSA) and Brazil for this reason. In India caste and culture play important roles. European Community-headquartered companies have their own standards and generally do not use the US diversity model outside the US. This is perhaps the biggest challenge that outsourcing faces.

  • As a American, I note subtle differences with Chinese approaches. Hong Kong more sensitive to western approaches, where internal China less so. And Taiwan companies older relations with US economy and companies look at US cultural sensitivities more.

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