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Two female academics have won an award in the Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book of the Year competition for their book on equality and diversity.

Sponsored by Henley Business School, the competition - launched in 2010 - aims to uncover the best books on management and leadership, including textbooks that will most effectively support a course of study on a management and leadership topic.

Managing Equality and Diversity: Theory and Practice by Savita Kumra, senior lecturer at Brunel Business School, and Simonetta Manfredi, director of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University, was considered top of the textbook list.

“Both Simonetta and myself were very aware of a gap in the textbooks available on equality and diversity,” says Prof Kumra. “[They] were either very theoretical or written by practitioners.”

Their book, written over a period of two years, aims to combine theory with practical examples from the workplace. Part one considers the drivers that motivate companies to explore the application of theoretical models and the impact of EU and UK legislation. Part two considers how practical policies are developed in the workplace in both the public sector and private organisations.

“I really hope the book will help create a more cohesive society,” says Prof Manfredi. “It is a timely read when you consider the debates currently taking place on equality and diversity - the underrepresentation of women on boards, for example.”

The two women have previously worked together on a project funded by the European Social Fund, that identified causes for the lack of women in senior roles at university and researched interventions to prevent this.

“Equality and diversity is part of the parcel of good every day management,” says Prof Kumra. “Talent comes in all shapes, sizes and packages, and companies that focus on just one part of the labour market are missing out.”

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