Roberta Lepre

Dr Roberta Lepre is a lawyer and CSR consultant.


Integrating Diversity Management Into Your CSR Strategy

Monday 14th May 2018

In December 2014, the EU adopted a Directive which obliges public companies which employ over 500 employees to report on non-financial matters, such as social and employee-related matters, human rights and environmental matters. This directive has given further impetus to various CSR and sustainability initiatives that have become increasingly common, particularly in a business environment where shareholders, business partners and consumers who hold companies to account are on the rise.

Having said this, we have seen that it is not only companies who fall within the remit of the Directive which embark on CSR or sustainability initiatives and opt to report to their stakeholders about their commitments in this regard – other companies are publishing CSR or sustainability reports voluntarily. So why is this happening?

Companies that want to survive current challenges understand that operating sustainably not only benefits society at large, but also contributes towards the long-term (and sometimes short-term) profitability of their enterprises. Take for instance, the drive towards promoting workplace diversity and actively managing intercultural differences: today any business seeking growth acknowledges that this cannot be achieved without recruiting workers hailing from different parts of the world. Diversity management and intercultural learning has become a must for such business owners, in whose interest it is to ensure that the cultural differences at the place of work do not develop into conflicts. On the contrary, if managed properly, such differences can be capitalised upon in order to enhance innovation, and also to further attract and eventually retain valuable talent.

Diversity can also be integrated into a company’s marketing and business development plans, and when done correctly, can sometimes prove to be crucial in attracting customers and/or business partners from certain specific demographics. However, when not actively addressed, intercultural differences can create serious tensions in the workplace and in the business operation, which would ultimately turn out to negatively impact efficiency and profitability.

Equal treatment of employees and other stakeholders and other aspects of diversity management are factored into the ISO 26000 guidelines on corporate social responsibility. A holistic CSR strategy and action plan, utilising these guidelines and/or other relevant reference frameworks, can guide companies to address these very topical and relevant issues in a structured manner. The assistance of a suitably qualified expert can add a dimension which might not be available to a company internally, whilst also adding an element of objectivity when carrying out the required assessments.

Unfortunately many Maltese enterprises still consider investments in such initiatives as additional burdens and do not fully grasp the long term value which would be brought about by being more proactive in this regard. On the positive side, a handful of forward-thinking entrepreneurs understand the power of diversity and of operating in an ethical manner, both for society at large, but also for the longevity of their enterprises. These are the leaders who are not content with mediocrity and are not afraid to put their money where their mouth is.


Frank V. Farrugia


Taking Our Concerns To Cabinet

May 2018

Members in all the three of our economic groups are presently united in facing a common challenge – the lack of human resources with adequate skills.

Dollsy Darmanin

Head of Human Resources, Vodafone Malta


Extended Paternity Leave – What's In It For Employers?

May 2018

Numerous studies around the world have shown time and again that increasing paternity leave gets men more involved at home, promotes women’s participation in the workplace and boosts the economy overall.

Paul Baldacchino

Chief Officer, Business First


VAT Customer Care Services Integrated Within Business 1st

May 2018

The one-stop-shop at Business 1st has achieved another milestone with the integration of the VAT customer care services within the Business 1st set up at Mriehel.

Rebecca Agius

Business Analyst, BEAT


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May 2018

BPMN has been credited with facilitating the understanding of the performance collaborations and business transactions between organisations, among other things.

Marta Bugala

Administration and Marketing Executive, CorporateGiftsMalta


Using Promotional Branded Items To Increase Visibility And Connect With Clients

April 2018

When you’re planning your marketing strategy, the obvious priorities are building people’s awareness about brand, connecting it to positive vibes, making it ‘customer friendly’, and most importantly, making it easy to remember.