Corporate social responsibility also means to foster diversity and equal opportunities within the enterprise, seeking to counteract discrimination by targeted strategies.
Diversity management is defined as the strategic promotion of diversity in enterprises so as to use the potentials of certain groups (e.g. the experience of older employees) as a resource to benefit the enterprise whilst at the same time protecting the interests of all groups and considering different individual needs.
In the narrowest sense of the word, diversity comprises six dimensions:
•religion or belief
Austrian anti-discrimination legislation includes the following acts which were drawn up within the remit of the Ministry of Social Affairs:
•Equal Treatment Act
•Federal Equal Treatment Act
•Federal Disability Equality Act
• Employment of People with Disabilities Act
Diversity management in enterprises is aimed at ensuring equal treatment and anti-discrimination beyond the existing legal standards and to use diversity so as to give the enterprise additional competitive edge.
Policymakers can foster diversity in many ways. Apart from providing a framework including laws which create minimum standards, and from supporting diversity management in enterprises, awareness raising, information and acting as a role model are important factors which make difference. The Ministry of Social Affairs has launched a variety of measures to support the groups most discriminated against, for example:
•the National Action Plan for Gender Equality in the Labour Market
•the National Action Plan on Disability
•the NESTORGOLD seal of quality for effective generational management
•counselling, support and qualification opportunities for migrants
•patronage for the "meritus" prize, awarded to enterprises active in the diversity dimension "sexual orientation/identity"
•public employment service (AMS) programmes and employment campaigns for people with disabilities, older workers or young people with a socio-economically underprivileged background