PricewaterhouseCoopers Offers Advice for Companies On Managing Diversity to Create Competitive Advantage

Recognizing the Value of a Wide Variety of Abilities Enables a Company to Capitalize Its Existing Workforce

NEW YORK, July 28, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's (PwC) newly released "10Minutes on Managing Diversity" provides insight into how organizations can best create, develop, and maintain the diversity of their talent base. PwC recently convened a Diversity Leadership Forum, in which more than 700 business leaders participated in a discussion about strengthening diversity efforts during challenging economic times. What emerged was a consensus that those organizations that cultivate cultural dexterity within their organizations now will be best equipped to weather today's many challenges and in turn will emerge with a competitive advantage when the economy recovers.

"Bad times don't last; good people do," said Reggie Butler, a managing director with PwC's Cultural Transformation Services practice. "Demographic trends will continue regardless of the economic environment and companies that do not prepare today will be less competitive tomorrow."

Navigating today's economy and anticipating the opportunities of tomorrow require an expanded way of thinking, according to PwC. The 10Minutes piece states that "cognitive diversity" -- the ability to approach a given problem from many different perspectives in drastically different ways -- is vital for companies striving to manage change or weather a crisis with creativity and agility.

PwC suggests leading companies can effectively create an environment that provides systematic opportunities equally to all employees by following these key points:

 * Understand that progress requires effort; it is not the inevitable
   result of population shifts.
 * Diversify the diversity function. Don't restrict leadership and
   involvement to females and people of color.
 * Take personal accountability for cultural dexterity -- a business
   skill that enables leaders to build a stronger, more agile
        -- Acknowledge blind spots
        -- Start a dialogue
        -- Search for behaviors of exclusion
        -- Create an environment of advantages
        -- Be a visible champion of cultural dexterity

"As companies look to do more with less and reassess approaches to talent management, workforce capitalization becomes critical," added Butler. "The creation of an inclusive culture that encourages productivity, creativity, and loyalty -- and that will attract tomorrow's scarce talent -- will not happen overnight."

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About PricewaterhouseCoopers 10Minutes Thought Leadership Series

The 10Minutes series provides PwC's perspectives on critical business issues of interest to senior executives in crisp, to-the-point language and a simple format that requires about 10 minutes of an executive reader's time. To learn more, visit

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