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Diversity in the Workplace



Left to right: Carol-Ann Mullan, Sarah Jane Maskey and Daniel Wallace

Left to right: Carol-Ann Mullan, Sarah Jane Maskey and Daniel Wallace



Recently, St Mary’s University College was pleased to participate in the 2014 Human Resource Management (HRM) International Conference on “Diversity in the Workplace” in Quimper, France.

Three St Mary’s students, studying the second year of the Liberal Arts degree, were joined by other students from Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, Holland; the University of Applied Sciences BFI, Vienna; the Katholieke Hogeschool, Leuven; Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (IUT Quimper).

Students from all six countries formed international groups to analyse case studies which focussed on many aspects of diversity within the workplace. Most of the cases were based on real events. The international groups presented on the final day, identifying not only the major problems and issues within the cases, but also providing bespoke HRM solutions for each case. The disability case study was designed by Peter Stevenson, Senior Lecturer in Business Studies at St Mary’s.

The keynote speaker was Miss Adeline Raymond, a well-known international consultant on diversity, while representatives from two businesses, Cummins and Orange France, explained how they managed diversity within their organisations.

The students did have some time to see the wonderful city of Quimper, labelled the City of Art and History, with its magnificent Cathedral, cobbled streets and timber houses. The place names recalled the ancient crafts of the city, for example, Rue des Boucheries (Butcher’s Street), Place au Beurre (Butter Square) and Rue Kéréon (Shoemaker’s Street). While in Paris, visits were made to the Eiffel Tower (La Dame de Fer) and Notre Dame.

Many St Mary’s students have found employment in a human resource capacity in the past and will continue to do so in the future. This conference not only increased students’ knowledge of HRM as a discipline, it also allowed students to work in teams, finding innovative and creative solutions to real problems. These employability skills should prove attractive to prospective future employers.