Friday, 24 December 2010

Equality and diversity in the face of adversity - What happens?

What happens to equality and diversity in the face of adversity? -Tuesday 21 December 2010

Latest research suggesting that women, ethnic minority groups and disabled people are being hardest hit in the recession was under discussion at a major equality summit held at Queen Mary, University of London last week.

Some 35 scholars, charity bosses and activists from across the UK, Europe and the US attended to discuss how to keep equality and diversity standards and legislation from slipping down government agendas, as public spending cuts bite.

“Decisions by the present UK coalition demonstrate the kind of negative attitudes towards equality legislation that come to the fore in an economic downturn,” says Dr Hazel Conley, member of international research network Promoting Equality and Diversity through Economic Crisis (PEDEC), which organised the event.

“In December, Lynne Featherstone MP announced the Government’s decision to shelve part of the Equality Act 2010 that required large companies to publish the pay gap between their male and female employees.

“When not in office, Ms Featherstone argued that equal pay would not be achieved without further regulation, but now a Cabinet member she advocates a voluntary approach to pay reporting, which research suggests is ineffective, especially during recession.”

Guest speakers on the day included Professor Jill Rubery, of the University of Manchester; University of Cambridge’s Professor Simon Deakin; Dr Iyiola Solanke, of the University of Leeds, and Anne Phillips, Professor of Political and Gender Theory at LSE.

Key papers were delivered on issues such as the realities of gender equality in times of economic downturn; the ongoing struggle for work-life balance, particularly for women who make the greatest compromises to fit paid work around family; and whether tough financial choices will have to be made when it comes to tackling societal problems like poverty, inequality or discrimination.

“Women will bear a disproportionate burden when it comes to welfare cuts, with a negative knock on effect for them and their dependents, according to the gender audit of the July 2010 Budget," explains Professor Lizzie Barmes, co-member of PEDEC.

“Beyond this study, as women make up more of the public sector workforce they will be more heavily hit by the public sector pay freeze and the projected 600,000 public sector job losses.

"It is issues like this which need addressing to progress equality and diversity standards. Following on from this successful conference, our aim is to continue bringing together like-minded equality experts to showcase research that can help the formulation of new policies and strategies for tackling exclusion."

Source: Queen Mary, University of London
Looking for Diversity / Equal Opportunities Training Equality Act Training Diversity Training? Then the website to visit is jml at

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Importance of Leadership Development Programs

Just came across this article on "Manage Your Business" website. "Importance of Leadership Development Programs"

Leadership development programs prove to be advantageous to companies as they maximize the output of the company’s entire workforce.

Leadership development programs particularly help trainees in providing an overview of the operational system of the company as well as train for the required skill needed by the company to increase their productivity. This training helps the trainees to become more efficient and productive leaders and managers.

Leadership training is based on the company and the leadership development training differs from one company to the other. It should be very industry specific, however with certain foundations that cross borders.

There are benefits that an organization can acquire from leadership development programs:

Improves confidence – Working on their skills will help the employees to get more confidence about their performance.
Increases employees stay time in the company – If the employee gets a perk from the organization, he/she feels they are a vital and respected member of the community which increases the chances of the employee staying for a longer time in the organization.
Increases productivity – Leadership development program helps in enhancing the skills of the employees, which further enhances the productivity of the employees assisting in employee retention, better customer service and lessened revenues spent for training of new personnel.
Provides employees with company’s vision in a tangible way by teaching them the skills that the company requires – Through the leadership development program the employees realize the skills being taught to them, they have a clear vision of what the company is expecting to work on and how to achieve success within the company.
Helps in training leaders and managers to generate new ideas and creativity in their work.

If your company / organisation is looking for a Leadership Development Programme, we at jml Training and Consultancy have been delivering these now for many years.
To enter our site to find out more follow this link

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Successful organisations of the future, will be those that invest in their staff.

17th December 2010 - Mark Rose, Training Director of Creativedge Training & Development explains why successful organisations of the future, will be those that invest in their staff.

Organisations are going to find it more of a challenge to hold onto key members of staff as the perception of work and employment changes. By using training and development as a tool for retaining staff, organisations can also benefit from increased staff attendance, greater company loyalty, improved skills, innovation and production.

Organisations that invest in their staff also tend to be happier and more productive places to work and have far lower employee turnover. Staff also pay greater attention to individual needs in both clients and co-workers. Although training costs time and money, so does the lack of it - and usually far more!

Since 2002 Creativedge Training and Development has been working closely with Travis Perkins on its Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP). As the leading supplier to the UK building and construction industry, Travis Perkins has approximately 1200 stores and branches nationwide and employs approximately 16,000 members of staff across its seven brands.

The SMDP, designed and delivered by Creativedge , was established to develop experienced branch managers for future wider roles including key support roles and regional director appointments.

Brendan Melvin, Group Manager - Management Development at Travis Perkins says "Travis Perkins is actively preparing today's supervisors and managers to fill the key positions of tomorrow. The SMDP, one of many learning interventions, has achieved true group wide representation and support involving employees within Travis Perkins, Keyline, C.C.F., City Plumbing, Wickes and Benchmarx " The SMDP target group is a mix of those colleagues who are considered ready for the "next step up" including those for future regional & group roles."

The SMDP programme has already proved to be very successful since it launched in 2002. So far, Travis Perkins has appointed a Managing Director and 27 Regional Directors from this target group and 30 plus promotions for other regional & group roles, as well as larger grade branch and store roles.

By having ongoing training programmes for employees, organisations are better able to fill vacant positions by recruiting from within which is both cost-effective and practical for an organisation. Internal or current employees can make the best available candidates because they are already familiar with the company and already successful within the organisation.

Giving current employees more opportunities for advancement can be a win-win situation for everyone. Not only does it promote employee loyalty but more importantly, it reduces any risk from hiring externally. A failed external senior hire can be one of the most expensive costs a business can face, with the cost of lost productivity and lowered morale from employees who feel they have been 'bypassed' for promotion and have missed out on an opportunity to progress within the organisation.

However, training and development isn't just about 'one-offs' but rather a continuous journey so that employers and employees can keep up with the constant market changes.

A positive organisational culture only comes through a respect for and an investment in your people, not only in terms of financial rewards but by offering them the best working experience, one that offers security as well as progression and personal growth.

About Creativedge Training & Development- Creativedge specialises in high-performance management, leadership and personal development training and provides a unique range of creative, yet highly pragmatic development solutions that underpin employee engagement.

The Creativedge Portfolio of training solutions, offers enormous flexibility for developing people and includes Rapid Result® 90-minute bite-sized training sessions, an online resource centre, blended ILM qualifications, bespoke development programmes and personalised coaching, plus lots more. Source: Training Press Releases

If your company / organisation is looking for a Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP), we at jml Training and Consultancy have been delivering these now for many years.

Listed below are a few comments from participants at jml Training SMDP training:

Feedback from a Senior Managers Development Programme

'The biggest benefit has been the improvement in my IPS skills and the impact this has had on my team'

'It has provided me with the opportunity to reflect on my approach to work and I am making the time to relate the learning to further improve my work practice'

'I feel I have grown and positively changed during the course of the programme'

'I was most surprised by how much all the participants changed and blossomed over the duration of the programme'

'I find I am really listening to people now and my level of self awareness has increased'

'I feel so much more self-confident and feel I have much more presence'

'I now feel much more able and confident to work towards a win-win situation at work not a win-lose'

'I am most pleased that I attended the full programme despite work pressures, it was well worth juggling all the demands'

'I delegate much more now and can see an increase in the confidence and ability of my team to deliver'

Find out how jml Training can help your organisation develop in 2011 by visiting our website at

Friday, 10 December 2010

Young people are being coached to expand career opportunities

Younger people are accessing coaching to expand career opportunities, reports new ICF (International Coach Federation) study.

Professional coaching has found its place among the younger generation which is a promising sign for the growth of the industry and other industries that will now experience the benefits of coaching through these young, developing leaders.

The new ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study found that, overall, 25- to 34-year-olds are more aware of professional coaching, more aware of the ICF, more satisfied with their coaching experience, and more likely to recommend coaching to others than their older counterparts.

“The findings show that younger people are more receptive and attuned to coaching than we may have expected,” says ICF President and Master Certified Coach Giovanna D’Alessio. “This is promising not only for our industry in terms of growth and sustainability, but also for many other industries that could benefit from the coaching experiences, principles and culture that this younger generation may bring to organizations as they move up in their careers.”

The study indicates younger people see coaching as a viable resource to help them with their professional goals as they are faced with economic downturn and high unemployment rates early in their careers. According to the study, nearly half (46.5 percent) of people ages 25 to 34 selected "expand professional career opportunities” as their top reason for working with a professional coach, followed by “optimizing individual/team work performance” (41.6 percent) and “improve business management strategies” (41.6 percent). All other age groups analyzed (35–44, 45–54, 55-plus) chose optimizing individual/team work performance as their top motivation for partnering with a coach.

The 25- to 34-year-olds also reported a 92 percent level of satisfaction with an ICF Credentialed coach. Moreover, more than half (55 percent) stated they were “very satisfied.”

“To learn that younger people are more aware of the ICF and even more satisfied with coaching done by a coach who has been credentialed by the ICF reinforces the important role the ICF has in setting a global standard for coaches to ensure professionalism and to protect the public,” D’Alessio says.

The Global Consumer Awareness Study, which surveyed 15,000 individuals representing 20 countries, was conducted independently by the International Survey Unit of PwC. Learn more about this groundbreaking research at

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring or training. Individuals who engage in a coaching relationship can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.

The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with over 17,000 members in more than 100 countries, dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. The ICF is the only organization that awards a global credential which is currently held by more than 6,900 coaches worldwide. For more information about how coaching can help your employees, please visit the jml Training website at

Source: ICF

Gráinne Suter of jml Training & Consultancy is a Member of The International Coach Federation

Historic fall in the pay gap between men and women

The gender pay gap has narrowed significantly in the last year as women’s pay packets increased relative to men, official figures have shown. Gap for full-time employees falls from 12.2 to 10.2 per cent.

Commenting on the historic fall in the pay gap between men and women announced in today's Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Charles Cotton, Adviser on Performance and Reward at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said

"We should treat the findings with an element of caution. The smaller gap is a reflection of the state of the economy between April 2008 and April 2009, when many men were impacted by pay freezes and cuts. Between these dates, by contrast, women saw their pay rise relatively faster, as they are more likely to be covered by public sector deals or increases linked to the national minimum wage. The fear is that this gap could widen as the private sector starts to power ahead in 2011.

"That is not to say that employers are absolved from trying to reduce the pay gap. When significant amounts of investor or tax payer money is being spent on salary and wages it's important to ensure that pay reflects employee performance, behaviours and skills, rather than prejudice and bias."

Source: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which is Europe's largest HR and development professional body with over 135,000 members, supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations

Equality & Human Rights Commission to assess the Spending Review’s compliance with Equality Law

The Equality and Human Rights Commission on the 25th November 2010 started a process to carry out a formal, independent assessment of the extent to which the Treasury has met its legal obligations to consider the impact on protected groups of decisions contained in the Spending Review.

The assessment is to be conducted under powers granted to the Commission under section 31 of the 2006 Equality Act.

Under the public sector equality duties, covering race, gender and disability, the Treasury, like all public bodies, has a legal duty to pay 'due regard' to equality and consider any disproportionate impact on protected groups when making decisions, including decisions about the budget. Where decisions are found to have a disproportionate impact on a particular group protected by the legislation, public bodies must consider what actions can be taken to avoid, mitigate or justify that impact.

The Commission’s role is to ensure that the Treasury has complied with its legal obligations; the start of this assessment should not be taken as an indication that the Treasury has not done so. The assessment is an opportunity for the Commission to continue its ongoing constructive work with the Treasury to evaluate what steps it has undertaken to comply with the legislation and identify any potential opportunities for improvement. This process will enable lessons to be learnt across Government to improve outcomes for protected groups by putting fairness and transparency at the heart of difficult decisions.

In practical terms, the assessment will be governed by terms of reference, which will be published shortly after consultation with HMT, as required by the 2006 Act. As the assessment unfolds, the Commission will have access to all the relevant information it needs to make a conclusive assessment. Once the assessment is complete, the Commission will report its findings and may make recommendations. If the assessment finds a breach, the Commission can serve a compliance notice, or enter into a binding agreement with the Treasury for it to take steps to avoid further breaches. If a public authority such as the Treasury fails to comply with a compliance notice or the binding agreement, the Commission can apply to a court for an order compelling them to comply.

The Commission aims to publish its final report next Summer

Looking for Training Services regarding Equality - Equal Opportunities - The Equality Act 2010? Find out more at


As a result of public sector duties on race, disability and gender, policy makers have a legal obligation to pay 'due regard' to equality when exercising their functions, including making decisions in relation to spending and proposed budget cuts.

When 'due regard' is applied in practice, it means that they must assess the equality impact of proposed changes to policies, procedures or practices, such as decisions which result from a desire to make savings. This could include decisions such as reorganisations and relocations, redundancies and service reductions programmes. 'Equality Impact Assessments' are a useful means for policy makers to meet this obligation.

The law does not prevent government officials from making difficult decisions. Nor does it stop them from making decisions that may affect one group more than another. The law simply requires that such decisions are made in a fair, transparent and accountable way, considering the needs and the rights of different members of the community. Where decisions are found to have a disproportionate impact on a particular group, authorities must consider what actions can be taken to avoid or mitigate the unfair impact.

Source: The Equality and Human Rights Commission