The Commisceo Global Blog - Perfect for Culture Vultures

Whether a press release, a case study of cultural difference, some tips on working abroad or some lessons in cross-communication, we try our best to satiate your inner culture vulture.

10 Facts Every Manager of a Multicultural Team Should Remember

10 Facts Every Manager of a Multicultural Team Should Remember
As a team manager leading a multicultural team, you go through the stages of team development perhaps a bit longer than when working with most monocultural teams. When you feel you’ve had enough of battling the cultural differences, and that you just want to call it a day, don’t despair – keep in mind that due to the diversity, the ups and downs feel extreme however in the end, there is simply much more to gain.
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HR Training Course for Non-HR Managers

HR Training Course for Non-HR Managers
Up to now many companies have largely underestimated one essential part of their capital - and that is human capital. Businesses can have endless material and financial resources, but without a strong workforce, they cannot make use of these resources.
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An Introduction to Management Training Course

An Introduction to Management Training Course
Leadership may sound a lot more exciting and glamorous than management.  However, what do you think it takes to implement all the innovative ideas and ensure that visions will actually turn into reality? ...Exactly. This will not be achieved without having an effective management strategy in place. 
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Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers

Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers
It is important to realize how strongly our emotions influence our thoughts and attitudes. They mirror in our behaviour and impact our productivity, performance and well-being both at work and at home. Even if we tried, we would not be able to cut them out and ban them from our workplace – and we certainly shouldn’t.
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An Introduction to Customer Service Training Course

An Introduction to Customer Service Training Course
Due to its front line nature, bad customer service can severely damage the reputation of your business. It does not matter if you are working for a global player or in a cosy little sidewalk café in the countryside. Customer service matters, regardless of the size and location of your business.
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Fire Service recruitment campaign aims to ethnic diversity



The government has launched a recruitment campaign targeting ethnic minorities and women to help the Fire Service reach its new equality targets.

Earlier this month the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) agreed to targets demanding that by 2013, 15% of all recruits to the operational sector are women - an increase from the 2008 recruitment figure of 9.2% - and that the proportion of ethnic minority staff is representative of the local community.

A report by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) had revealed that just 5% of FRS employees were from an ethnic minority background, while just 3.3% of operational staff were female.

The new campaign is designed to change attitudes and perceptions towards a career with the force - focusing specifically on women and ethnic minority groups - rather than the development of a national recruitment campaign.

The exact nature of the campaign is still under discussion but it will run across a range of media platforms, including advertising, online and events.

Read more > Fire Service
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Calls for radical action to boost minority managers



Urgent action is required to boost the number of ethnic minority managers in UK workplaces, according to an equality lobbying group.

A study by Race for Opportunity - part of the Business in the Community campaign group of employers - analysed office labour market statistics between 2000 and 2007, and found ethnic minorities have not been gaining the share of jobs that their proportion in the wider UK population would justify. The gap between the overall ethnic minority population and those in managerial positions is even greater, with the report warning that, based on current trends, ethnic minority managers will never be in line with their representation in the wider population.

The Race to the Top report showed that more than one in 10 of the UK population comes from an ethnic minority group, yet just one in 15, or 6.8%, were in a management position at the end of 2007.

Read more >> Management
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Ethnic minorities employment prospects fail to improve



The employment prospects of some of the UK's ethnic minorities have failed to improve and may well have declined markedly since the 1970s, according to research.

A study by research professors at both Manchester and Oxford universities found that minority ethnic groups had a much harder chance of finding work as their white counterparts, and that employment for ethnics had got worse since the 1970s. The news comes as the number of people out of work grew to 1.86 million in the three months to October – up 137,000 from the three months to July.

Anthony Heath, a professor at the University of Oxford, called on the government to do more to improve employment for ethnic minorities: “Previous government attempts to use legislation have failed to narrow the gap, although the proposals in the Queen's Speech this month may offer some hope of progress.”

Read more >> Employment
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Cultural diversity training can help tackle healthcare inequalities


cultural diversity


Healthcare inequalities may partly be due healthcare professionals'
ignorance of ethnic minority healthcare needs, according to an article in the latest edition of Clinical Medicine, published by the Royal College of Physicians. Cultural diversity programmes have been shown to improve patient outcomes, yet the research for this article found that the training of all major UK healthcare professionals in cultural diversity is inadequate.

Authors Paul Bentley, Ana Jovanovic and Pankaj Sharma revealed a wide variation in teaching practices between healthcare professions and geographic regions. Effective cultural competency training would help to make sure medical education meets the goal of improving healthcare for the whole population and tackle healthcare inequality. The authors call on UK regulatory healthcare bodies to consider cultural competency to be a requirement for all healthcare professional trainees.

Read more > Training
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Exposure To Racial And Ethnic Diversity Better Prepares Medical Students

An article published in the medical education-themed September 10 issue of JAMA finds that white medical students are more likely to consider themselves highly prepared to provide care for minority populations if they attended schools with racial and ethnically diverse student bodies.

Under the belief that diversity exposes students to a broader field of ideas, experiences, and perspectives, most medical schools in the United States explicitly try to keep their student bodies racially and ethnically varied. The schools also believe that diversity in the classroom better prepares student to provide services to the multicultural American population. However, little research exists to support the claim of educational benefits from diversity in medical schools.

Read more > Medical News
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Employment gap between white and BME staff is closing

The employment gap between white and black and ethnic minority (BME) workers is closing steadily, according to a report by the TUC.

The TUC report said the employment gap had narrowed by 2.2% over the past 10 years and now stands at 15.7%.

This comes despite recent criticism of government efforts to close the gap, with accusations that some specialist schemes were wound-up too soon.

The fastest area of growth in BME employment has been part-time work, with the number doing this more than doubling in 10 years. However, just 60.1% of BME people are in work, compared to 75.8% in the wider population.

Read more > BME
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Employment gap between white and BME staff is closing

The employment gap between white and black and ethnic minority (BME) workers is closing steadily, according to a report by the TUC.

The TUC report said the employment gap had narrowed by 2.2% over the past 10 years and now stands at 15.7%.

This comes despite recent criticism of government efforts to close the gap, with accusations that some specialist schemes were wound-up too soon.

The fastest area of growth in BME employment has been part-time work, with the number doing this more than doubling in 10 years. However, just 60.1% of BME people are in work, compared to 75.8% in the wider population.

Read more > BME
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Charity calls for business leaders to take up diversity challenge

A charity that campaigns to provide a "secure base for Britain's minority ethnic communities" has called for effective leadership to promote diversity, after a poll revealed that almost nine in 10 recent graduates have experienced some kind of discrimination at work.

The Ethnic Minority Foundation, called for leaders to be held accountable for discrimination which, it says is "ruining the life chances of young people".

It follows a survey of 200 graduates by recruitment site Milkround.com which found that 86% of had faced discrimination while working.

Race discrimination affected two in five respondents, with age discrimination affecting 14% and gender 12%. Other reasons for unfair treatment included sexual orientation and height.

One respondent said: "People like me coming from a different country or continent to study and then try to get a work placement here are very vulnerable, particularly if they are unfortunate enough to have employers or managers as ignorant as the one I [worked for]."

Read more > Diversity 
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"Cultural cloak of sensitivity" is preventing human rights


cultural sensitivity


A "cultural cloak of sensitivity" is preventing figures in authority, including police, teachers and social services, from protecting basic human rights for fear of upsetting certain ethnic minority communities, David Cameron warned yesterday.

In his strongest attack on multiculturalism, which he said had created a "cultural apartheid" by allowing communities to lead separate lives, the Conservative leader claimed that society was caving in to "extreme elements" who should be sidelined. Cameron cited two examples:

· authorities often turn a blind eye to forced marriages - schools in Derby have recently refused to put up posters about the issue - amid fears that they might be perceived as racists;

· Victoria Climbié, the eight-year-old who was tortured to death by her aunt and her aunt's boyfriend, was not properly protected by social services because they did not want to offend a family that had recently arrived in Britain.

Read more > Cameron 
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Recruiters have a key role to play in helping ethnic minorities into work

Following the publication of the National Audit Office’s report that showed there was still a significant gap between the employment rate for ethnic minorities and the general population, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation has again highlighted the need for more work to be done in this particular area.

The report stated that the employment rate is 60 per cent for the ethnic minority population compared to 74 per cent for the general population.

Read more > Diversity 
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Translation of food labels

Revere's (Massachusetts, USA) diverse community has given rise to a number of ethnic restaurants and grocery stores brimming with international products from countries such as Cambodia, Lebanon, and Thailand.

revere usa


While these restaurants and stores provide a taste of home for immigrants, they may be confusing for residents who want to try new things but cannot read foreign-language packaging.

This was one of the arguments used by City Councilor George Rotondo when he asked, by way of a council motion, that Revere stores that sell products in a foreign language provide an English translation.

"I embrace diversity. I live it," said Rotondo, whose wife is from Colombia and who can speak or read five languages. "Unfortunately, I believe it's unfair that you go to a store and see something there and don't know what it is, and have to rely on someone telling you what it is."

His colleagues on the council last month approved the motion, which then made its way to Mayor Thomas G. Ambrosino's desk. There it met a speedy death.

"The council passed it and the mayor vetoed it," Rotondo said. "He thought it was 'silly'; he wrote that in a letter to me."

"I just thought it was kind of foolish," Ambrosino said in an interview. "First of all, I don't think we have the authority to have private companies translate their products into English. And I don't think it's an effort in which we ought to be expending our efforts."

Read more > Revere 
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Home Office on course to meet diversity targets

Targets for the recruitment and retention of staff from minority ethnic communities are on course to be met across the core Home Office, a report published today revealed.

The eighth annual Race Employment Targets Report shows progress against the Home Office's 10-year race equality employment targets. The Border and Immigration Agency, Identity and Passport Service, the Forensic Science Service and the core Home Office areas all exceeded their aims.

The news comes just days after a new mentoring scheme aimed at preparing black and minority ethnic (BME) staff for leadership roles in the Civil Service has been put into action.

Read more > Home Office 
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Blears urges HR staff to attract more BME workers

Communities secretary Hazel Blears has urged human resources professionals to get out more to attract more black and minority ethnic (BME) workers.

Speaking exclusively to Personneltoday.com, Blears said the role for HR in attracting more BME people into work was to go to the places where different communities live, and encourage them to apply for positions.

Currently, the ethnic minority share of the working age population stands at 9.3% or 3.26 million people, according to 2004 Department for Work and Pensions figures. The latest Office for National Statistic figures (2002-03) state that the employment rate for white people working in the UK is 75.5%, compared to just 57.3% for non-white groups.

Read more> Hazel Blears 
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Blears urges HR staff to attract more BME workers

Communities secretary Hazel Blears has urged human resources professionals to get out more to attract more black and minority ethnic (BME) workers.

Speaking exclusively to Personneltoday.com, Blears said the role for HR in attracting more BME people into work was to go to the places where different communities live, and encourage them to apply for positions.

Currently, the ethnic minority share of the working age population stands at 9.3% or 3.26 million people, according to 2004 Department for Work and Pensions figures. The latest Office for National Statistic figures (2002-03) state that the employment rate for white people working in the UK is 75.5%, compared to just 57.3% for non-white groups.

Read more> Hazel Blears 
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Blears launches new integration strategy


translation


Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, has announced a £50m investment to help local authorities boost integration and the creation of specialist teams to tackle tensions in communities sparked by changing patterns of migration.

The money - up from £2m this year - is to be channelled over three years to groups which promote integration, rather than towards bodies which represent a single ethnic or religious identity. The change in approach is to be accompanied by guidance to local authorities that they should only spend money on translating documents into foreign languages where necessary, and put a much greater emphasis on teaching English.

Read more: Blears 
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