CELEBRATING SOUTH AFRICA’S DIVERSITY TALENT: Employment Equity Awards recognise transformation champions
By Siphiwe Moyo and Marius Meyer
The principle of equality is one of the key issues contained in the Bill of Rights as included in the South African Constitution. Creating equality in the workplace is a key imperative in creating inclusive workplaces. However, the question is whether South African companies are doing enough to celebrate the diversity of our talent. In addition, if we really want to unleash all talent in South Africa, is it not time that we recognise top employers who have made excellent progress in unlocking the talent of all its employees?
It is in this spirit of advancing equality in the workplace, that the SABPP Board is proud to announce our inaugural Employment Equity, Diversity and Transformation (EEDT) Awards and Summit in May 2018. This event is arranged in support of the Employment Equity Commission Report and therefore constitutes our effort in mobilising HR Managers in accelerating employment equity and talent management in South Africa.
Despite South Africa’s successful political transition in 1994, it is clear 24 years on that a non-racial South Africa in all aspects of society remains an elusive dream. The slow pace of transformation perpetuates inequality in the workplace and society at large. This high-level conference is arranged to debate HR’s response to the current slow progress in employment equity and to provide solutions in transforming organisations at a much faster rate. In addition, we will also launch our first annual employment equity awards to encourage our members to play a stronger change agent role in driving successful employment equity in the workplace.
This session will play a key role for HR professionals in defeating racism and achieving tangible employment equity results in the workplace. Over the last seven years, we achieved 12 tangible outcomes to ensure the sustainability of initiatives in transforming society:
- Six Annual Women in the Workplace Reports (2012-2017);
- Signing of anti-racism pledge by HR Managers (2016);
- Development of SABPP HR Professional Practice Standard on Diversity, Inclusion and Employment Equity (2014);
- Fact Sheet on Employment Equity (2015);
- Fact Sheet on Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (2017);
- Development of Labour Market Scenarios for 2030 aligned to the NDP (2016);
- Launch of HR Citizen Committee to drive initiatives in addressing our top socio-economic problems such as inequality, poverty, unemployment, education (2016);
- Implementing the SABPP Employment Equity Policy and Plan (2015-2018);
- Providing support to organisations offering workshops on disability (2017-2018);
- Produced formal comments on national employment equity reports, and amendments to employment equity and skills development legislation and documentation to government departments, the Employment Equity Commission, and Parliament (2013-2018);
- The SABPP student chapters have created a pool of almost 2000 young HR graduates of whom 87% are black entering the workplace (2015-2018);
- The SABPP Candidateship programme ensures that young black graduates are empowered in work and professional readiness against the South African HR Competency Model (2016-2018).
Notwithstanding the leadership role of SABPP in employment equity and diversity management, it is a reality that most South African companies are making insufficient progress in employment equity. However, SABPP is aware of some good work done by some of our registered HR professionals at their companies. To reinforce this significant achievement in employment equity, and to encourage other companies to follow their example, we are launching seven employment equity awards. The awards are as follows:
- Employment Equity, Diversity and Transformation Overall Award
- HR Enabling Environment Award
- Diversity and Inclusion Award
- Affirmative Action Measures Award
- Employment Equity, Diversity and Transformation Change Agent Award
- Disability Employer Award
- Gender Employer Award
Interested parties can contact our office on firstname.lastname@example.org to participate, or to visit our website for more information (www.sabpp.co.za) The awards will be issued on 14 May, followed by a conference featuring case studies by the winners on 15 May, and then a workshop on 16-17 May to build skills in accelerating employment equity implementation.
SABPP would like to thank and acknowledge our HR professional community for the great work they are doing in accelerating the implementation of employment equity in the workplace. However, we have noticed that there appears to be a lack of commitment in certain industries to empower staff from the designated groups. We want to encourage HR professionals in their employment equity efforts, and where problems occur, we would like to create platforms for additional support and capacity-building. And of course, as a national community of HR professionals, we need to reach out to those lagging behind to accelerate the implementation of employment equity plans in creating workplaces that are representative of the population.
The Employment Equity Act is clear and the Department of Labour has played a leadership role to ensure that all employers are aware of the requirements of the Act. Now is the time for the sound professional implementation of employment equity practices. Moreover, we are now even more convinced than ever before, that in many cases the slow progress in employment equity can be attributed to inadequate HR practices, hence the importance of implementing the SABPP HR Standards to strengthen your employment equity plans.
Please help us in ensuring that the HR profession becomes the leading profession in South Africa in driving effective employment equity. We have already created the hashtag #EEDTAwards on Twitter and Instagram to ensure maximum exposure and visibility for the awards. You are encouraged to share our regular articles and other information with all stakeholders inside and outside your organisation.
The inaugural #EEDTAWards are not about the dream of employment equity. It is about action in achieving and exceeding employment equity targets in the workplace. As we celebrate the talent of our workforce, we are challenging the HR and business community to share diversity and employment equity success stories with us. This is an opportunity to acknowledge talent management and transformation champions in South Africa.
Siphiwe Moyo is Chairperson of SABPP and Marius Meyer is CEO of SABPP. For more information about the employment equity and diversity awards, follow the hashtag #EEDTAwards on Twitter and Instagram or visit the website www.sabppawards.co.za