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Equity; Diversity and Inclusion – Critical Factors in an Organisation

The Employment Equity Unit within the Social Justice and Transformation Department held a seminar on 29 October 2019 at the Desmond Tutu Great Hall.

“Equity and Diversity in the workplace: Towards VUT’s successive EE plan” was the theme of the seminar which was addressed by Dr Jerry Gule, Chairperson of South African Employers for Disability (SAE4D) and CEO of the Institute of People Management (IPM).

Dr Gule values what is happening in institutions as they now accommodate people with disabilities. He said that we need to respect people who have disabilities and need to change the mind-set of others towards such people. He further emphasised that the role of managers, seniors and parents is to support, lead and guide.

“As a collective, we need to be involved … employers need to be fair with all processes for every employee, whether abled or disabled,” he said.

He also encouraged the audience to understand the importance of disclosing their disability with HR and knowing their status.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are critical elements in an organisation,” he said.

He based his talk on the key success factors of an organisation, below:

  • Integration of persons with disability must be part of the business/organisation’s strategy;
  • An organisational culture of diversity, inclusion and ongoing awareness building and sensitisation;
  • Ownership of the human capital strategy of the business or organisation must be at the right level and the owner must drive reasonable accommodation as strategy agenda action;
  • Encouraging, driving and making self-disclosures safe;
  • Regular reviews and action orientation; and
  • Consequence management.

In closing, Dr Gule said that combining diversity and inclusion makes the difference. “Diversity is complex … Create an environment that accommodates everyone,” he said.

A question and answer session was opened to the floor after the address and interaction with Dr Gule for comments and clarity was made possible.


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