03 August, 2017

Is Corporate Diversity Real or is it a Game?

Yet again, "diversity" is being viewed as some extrinsic quality that by simple inspection can be identified, categorized, quantized, and classified. "Let's see, we need so many blacks, a few white males, some gays, as many increasingly au courant transgenders (male and female, pre- and post-transition) as we can find. Cross-dressers are always handy for immediate impact in the annual report... And then season with some women and those spicy Latinos. There, perfect." 

This form of diversity, if looked at objectively, might just as easily be deemed racism. True diversity is based on what the constituents of a company's workforce bring to the table based on: life experience, culture, education, ways of thinking, etc. It is definitely not, "Get me some Jewish guys because they'll be really good at contracts, and then some Asians because, you know, they're all great with numbers."

This goes back to the classic "nature versus nurture" debate: some of the dimensions of diversity may be "baked in" and carried by some ethnic or other affinity/identity group, but to totally rely on this to achieve an important goal is simplistic, overly reductive, and prone to failure. Perhaps worst of all there is a high likelihood of its either being perceived as or actually being a cynical ploy to keep government and activists off your back.

If diversity is important enough to do, it's important enough to do for real.


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