Activities and actions
The AFMD offers different types of activities on diversity management-related issues.
The formats that we develop are designed to meet the needs of our members, and the methodologies implemented depend on the objectives.
For example: the study of a theme, or deeper exploration, the analysis of different points of view, etc.
Breakfasts provide an opportunity for the association's members to meet one another to seek inspiration, share their experiences and pass on their knowledge. We offer them four ways to do this.
- "Diversity policy" breakfasts, in a concrete and pragmatic approach, showcase the tools and systems required for the establishment of a "diversity procedure" in the organisation. Content and scope, budget and resources, the creation of an internal network, a monitoring system, representatives, reporting procedures, types of projects and experiments which should be undertaken as a priority are all explained, with personal input from an AFMD member.
- In its "Discovery Stage" breakfasts, the AFMD provides its members with information about projects, structures or original initiatives, along with the latest results from research and studies on the subject of diversity. So the watchwords are innovation and novelty!
- Organised in partnership with the Latham & Watkins law firm, the "Employment law" lunches provide a means of explaining the impact of changes in employment law on the diversity practices and policies of member organisations.
- "Tools" breakfasts allow our members to consider how they can use new tools to liven up the diversity policy: exhibitions, films followed by discussions, cultural channels... They are all about finding other ways of promoting wider awareness of non-discrimination.
Every year, the association's members put forward subjects they would like to explore in greater depth. Selected by the board of directors, the themes address specific issues (see "presentation of subjects" section). In a number of work sessions, volunteers from among the association's members discuss particular situations, hear about the experiences of experts or practitioners and work together to develop solutions or recommendations.
As the AFMD is keen to promote collaboration with the research community, we have two advisors who take part in our deliberations: a business advisor (an AFMD member) and an academic advisor (who specialises in the issues under discussion). The involvement of these two supervisors ensures that the association's work is firmly rooted in both the operational side and in research.
The output from working groups is generally used in the production of publications which are accessible to the general public. As these publications are designed for practitioners in organisations, the AFMD is keen to include concrete examples and a reflective perspective. It is able to achieve this because they are written by an external researcher or expert and are overseen by the AFMD's head of research, herself a researcher.
Rallying people to the causes of diversity and non-discrimination is one of our missions. When we produce a publication, a conference is organised to disseminate the knowledge gathered in the working group. We describe the background to the work, the methodology used, the issues involved and the response to the initial need. We give precedence to members who took part in the working group and to input from the advisors.
Further conferences can be organised to continue to highlight issues which the AFMD has already addressed.
After ten years of activities organised around breakfasts and working groups, the AFMD has embraced new methodologies for facilitating the use of collective intelligence. As part of a project on the future of diversity management, we took part in an "ideas lab" day: three of the association's partner organisations give ten of their employees the opportunity to spend a whole day together thinking about the future challenges posed by diversity management. Other participants (associations, schools, institutions...) join the teams, which come up with solutions to the previously identified issues. Through these events, the AFMD keeps in touch with those who are directly involved with diversity policies, and can gear its discussions to the obstacles that they encounter on a daily basis. In addition to raising participants' awareness of the different aspects of diversity management, these days enable organisations to get their teams practically involved in issues which are very often confined to human resources or CSR.