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‘Improperly managed diversity can lead to organisational inefficiencies, conflicts’

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Diversity, when improperly managed can lead to organisational inefficiencies and conflicts, experts have said.
 
They argued that although commitment to diversity is very hard, but remains pertinent if the country wants to truly build organisations and a society that represents everyone, and that which everyone represents.
 
Delivering a lecture on, “Managing Diversity in a Democracy: A case for Equity and Justice,” former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Iyom Josephine Anenih, emphasised that diversity, when managed inefficiently can lead to conflict and the creation of insular and homogenous clusters within the larger group.

 
Anenih, who spoke during the investiture of Patience Anabor as the 22nd President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) Chartered, added: “When you invite diverse people into your organisation, and you fail to get them to buy into your larger organisational identity and goals, chaos inevitably ensues.”
  
According to her, rising tensions and outright conflicts are the concomitant effects of the gradual decline in the ability to manage diversity, adding that as intolerance increases around the world, the appetite for diversity dwindles.
  
Meanwhile, as a gender advocate, Anenih expressed displeasure at the low turnout on women’s access to participate in power structures, decision-making, and leadership positions, thereby not reflecting the 35 per cent Beijing Conference Agreement on women inclusion.
 
To this end, she appealed to the leadership of NIM to lobby for legislation that ensures women are represented in boardrooms across the country, adding that at all levels of decision-making; women should occupy at least 35 per cent available leadership positions.
  
In her inaugural address, the new NIM President, Anabor, while consolidating on the gains of years past, promised to put the Institute’s professional certificate on the right pedestal.
 
She said the group would deploy every means under the ambit of the law to pursue the rating of the Institute’s certificate by the National Council on Establishment.
 
She noted that the accreditation of the Institute’s certificate by the appropriate authorities would rub off positively on its fortunes.
  
Earlier in his valedictory speech, outgoing president, Prof Olukunle Iyanda, who gave an account of his stewardship during his reign, said his team through advocacy addressed management challenges that enabled Nigeria to leverage its enormous human and material resources for greater output and progress.
  
Other highlights of the event included the induction of Late Dr Christopher Abebe, Late Jerome Udoji, and Dr Michael Omolayole, into the Institute’s Management Hall of Fame for their admirable ethical and managerial contributions to the nation.


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