Posted on February 23, 2011

By What Measurement Can We Abolish the Diversity Department?

Luke Visconti, Ask the White Guy (Diversity Inc.), February 23, 2011


How will we know that these “democratizing” efforts have been successful? Once success has been achieved (that is, when it is the norm that opportunity is truly equal), does the need for a “diversity management department” go away?


This is an easy question to answer: If you believe all people are created equally, then we’ll know we’re done with needing a diversity department to help with equitable access and talent development by measuring the results. {snip}

Aside from gender, I can give you endless examples of disproportionate representation of white men in positions of power in this country to the detriment of anyone not Christian, and/or heterosexual, and/or non-white (or white Hispanic), and/or people with ADA-defined disabilities, etc.

By the way, the United States leads the world in human and civil rights; we’re the best when you look at the entire picture. When you get outside of this country, the discrimination increases and you can see this by measuring the representation of the majority culture in positions of power in every other region I can think of (for example, how many non-Han Chinese people are in positions of power in China? I’d imagine there may be a few, but I’ve never seen one).

Even in the distant future when companies are equitably recruited, talent development is equally effective and positions of power are equitably staffed, there will still be a need for a diversity department. {snip}

On a national basis, whether you are a Keynesian or Supply-Side economist, the one constant that grows economies is innovation. Our society cannot achieve maximum innovation if broad sectors of its population are sidelined. We shortchange our own GDP by being discriminatory.

{snip} I am quite sure nobody alive today will live to see equity, even in workforce measures–but we can take deep satisfaction of continuing that work and seeing our incremental growth as a society.