first_imgThis week’s lettersWhy is HR constantly left holding the baby?It is interesting to note that HR directors are being asked by the CBI toplay a major role in changing the public perception of UK business when itappears that the leaders of these businesses believe HR professionals lack thecommercial acumen to make strategic decisions or sit on the board. Marc Hommel’s article ‘Stepping up to the mark’ (Strategy, 10 June) waslittered with patronising terms which owed more to a lesson in classroombehaviour than serious business issues. It typifies the narrow minded,finance-centric approach often used when referring to HR practice and wasironically summed up by the adapted ‘baby on board’ sign. Perhaps it would be more helpful to try to explore new approaches tobusiness thinking which enables HR to bring a fresh perspective to strategydevelopment on the board rather than hammer home the same tired old messages. Karen Roberts HR & training manager, Molecular Products Old-fashioned views deter best candidate The views of John Spartan (letters, 17 June) frankly beggars belief. I amstunned that someone who is a ‘head of HR’ is naive enough to think this way. Let’s take his question: “Are women not able to promote themselves inthe workplace by their education, skills, aptitudes, experience andmerits?” Well, clearly not if one looks at the statistics. The fact thatthere are so few women (or ethnic minorities for that matter) in the top ranksof just about any organisation you care to name, is surely a testimony to theexistence of gender (and race) bias. Does he not agree with the concept that to compete equally, those from aposition of disadvantage need extra encouragement and help? I don’t know what kind of outfit JBMS is, but if its head of HR limits theavailable pool of talent he recruits from with this kind of institutionaliseddiscrimination, then any advantages which come from a diverse workforce willsurely be lost and the best person for the job may be continually passed overin favour of a white male. Also what message about JBMS’s values do these viewssend to its customers? Ian Henly FCIPD Service centre manager, Crown Prosecution Service Has he never read equality research? I am somewhat surprised to find someone supposedly head of HR in a largeorganisation not only suggesting the maternity regulations cause problems foremployers but also that women do not need equality legislation these days. DoesJohn Spartan (letters, 17 June) also believe we do not need disability and racerelations legislation or is he just anti-women? It appears he does not believe there is such a thing as the ‘glass ceiling’or ‘old boys’ network’ which gives all advantages to men while preventing womenfrom entering, surviving and flourishing in the workplace. Does he not read the research on this subject that shows the manager isnormally a man even in areas where there are a lot of women employed? Even withthe Equal Pay Act, women are still paid less than men in like positions. If dealt with in the correct way, women returning to work after maternityleave are soon back up to speed, especially where the organisation has a robustmaternity leave policy that enables women to be kept up to date with changes inthe workplace. I admit managing maternity leave and getting the right calibre of maternityleave cover can sometimes be difficult, but the benefits far outweigh theproblems, especially when most industries now have difficulty with recruitmentand retention. The equality legislation is not about advantaging one gender over another oreven one section of the population over another, it is about trying to providea level playing field; it is about educating employers to realise that everyonehas something to offer and that the ‘white, male, middle class’ worker is notalways the best person for the job. Sorry, John, but I think you sound a little bitter in your letter and havenot really looked at the situation with an impartial eye. Denise Carter Senior HR adviser, Company name withheld HR must polish up its internal image firstI was interested to read Scott Beagrie’s feature on what HR needs to do toboost its image, ‘What are HR directors worth?’ (Personnel Today,17 June).Progress on this issue must surely involve improvements in how employees regardthe HR function and the role it plays in the organisation’s development. Employees are not only HR’s business, they also shape external views throughtheir advocacy (or otherwise) for their employer. HR must build from the ‘inside out’ if it is to enhance its reputation (andso the reward) for the service which it delivers. Nick Wright Director,  Fishburn Hedges LettersOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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