Diversity in the Workplace

17 December 2012

St Mary’s University College was recently pleased to participate in the 2012 Human Resource Management (HRM) international conference on ‘Diversity in the Workplace’ in Vienna, Austria.

Five St Mary’s students, studying the second year of the BA 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 and the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale (IUT Quimper).

Diversity in the Workplace

Students from all five 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 providing bespoke HRM solutions for each case.

The keynote speaker was Mr Norbert Pauser, a well-known international consultant on diversity who presented a lecture entitled “Diversity is what we make out of it”. The industrial visit was to Microsoft’s Vienna headquarters, described as “Diversity meets Technology meets Architecture”, to see the “Office of the Future”.

Diversity in the Workplace

The students did of course have some free time to see the wonderful city of Vienna and some sight-seeing was built into the programme. This allowed everyone to enjoy the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, The Hofburg Imperial Palace, The Prater and the Stephansdom. Many hours in the evenings were also spent at the Vienna Magic of Advent Christmas Market at the Rathausplatz. One student described the experience as “simply wonderful!”

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.

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