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Is diversity to be lauded in the workplace?

Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?
My work here is, finally, done.
the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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7/29/2013 2:40:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Central limit theorem and risk management.

A group of people with diverse opinions will be more likely to get the best answer because on average people's bias cancels out. If you don't have diversity, you might happen to be all biased in the same way and this defeats the purposes of committees, boards and management teams.

You never know when circumstances might change. The more diverse the experience you can draw from the better chance the company will survive a major economic upheaval. It only takes one person to have the right idea (provided the rest of the team isn't hell bent on conservatism), but it takes a whole team to implement it. Overlap in knowledge base is redundancy that simply doesn't help (since knowledge can't be removed from a team without losing the person who holds the knowledge).

Of course this relies on the ability of the group to actually make use of the diversity (which is why diverse groups fail plenty as well) but if there is diversity then people will be more likely to develop the ability to work with it rather than against it.

So diversity is valued for its own sake because we can't always know in advance what kind of diversity will be important. Of course diversity is not important as anything other than a means to an end, it's just easier to think about increasing diversity as a goal rather than trying to pick how you want to diversify, because it is a risk management strategy. It's valuable for the same reason that diverse portfolios in stocks are valuable.
Jack212
Posts: 572
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7/29/2013 4:42:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:40:53 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Central limit theorem and risk management.

A group of people with diverse opinions will be more likely to get the best answer because on average people's bias cancels out. If you don't have diversity, you might happen to be all biased in the same way and this defeats the purposes of committees, boards and management teams.

You never know when circumstances might change. The more diverse the experience you can draw from the better chance the company will survive a major economic upheaval. It only takes one person to have the right idea (provided the rest of the team isn't hell bent on conservatism), but it takes a whole team to implement it. Overlap in knowledge base is redundancy that simply doesn't help (since knowledge can't be removed from a team without losing the person who holds the knowledge).

Of course this relies on the ability of the group to actually make use of the diversity (which is why diverse groups fail plenty as well) but if there is diversity then people will be more likely to develop the ability to work with it rather than against it.

So diversity is valued for its own sake because we can't always know in advance what kind of diversity will be important. Of course diversity is not important as anything other than a means to an end, it's just easier to think about increasing diversity as a goal rather than trying to pick how you want to diversify, because it is a risk management strategy. It's valuable for the same reason that diverse portfolios in stocks are valuable.

That's diversity to manage risk, not diversity for the purpose of being diverse. It's one thing to have a black guy in the business because he's useful, it's another to have a black guy because everybody else is white. The latter that is just dumb.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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7/29/2013 6:29:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Customer appeal. Liberals and minorities tend to like diversity.

Considering that the majority of people in the country are liberals and minorities, it might be a good idea to have a diverse workplace. :)
FrackJack
Posts: 1,392
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7/29/2013 6:49:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 6:29:36 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Customer appeal. Liberals and minorities tend to like diversity.

Considering that the majority of people in the country are liberals and minorities, it might be a good idea to have a diverse workplace. :)

I sense sarcasm.
: At 8/8/2013 6:15:09 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
: The idiots are rebelling.

http://i.imgur.com...
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/29/2013 12:21:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 6:29:36 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Customer appeal. Liberals and minorities tend to like diversity.

Considering that the majority of people in the country are liberals and minorities, it might be a good idea to have a diverse workplace. :)

Is appealing to customers diversity for diversity's sake?
My work here is, finally, done.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/29/2013 12:28:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:40:53 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
Central limit theorem and risk management.

A group of people with diverse opinions will be more likely to get the best answer because on average people's bias cancels out. If you don't have diversity, you might happen to be all biased in the same way and this defeats the purposes of committees, boards and management teams.

You never know when circumstances might change. The more diverse the experience you can draw from the better chance the company will survive a major economic upheaval. It only takes one person to have the right idea (provided the rest of the team isn't hell bent on conservatism), but it takes a whole team to implement it. Overlap in knowledge base is redundancy that simply doesn't help (since knowledge can't be removed from a team without losing the person who holds the knowledge).

Of course this relies on the ability of the group to actually make use of the diversity (which is why diverse groups fail plenty as well) but if there is diversity then people will be more likely to develop the ability to work with it rather than against it.

So diversity is valued for its own sake because we can't always know in advance what kind of diversity will be important. Of course diversity is not important as anything other than a means to an end, it's just easier to think about increasing diversity as a goal rather than trying to pick how you want to diversify, because it is a risk management strategy. It's valuable for the same reason that diverse portfolios in stocks are valuable.

This is well and good, but mostly false.
The whole idea falls flat since certain organizations want people with a college degree, good credit score, no criminal background, steady work history, etc... Yep, that's a diverse workforce alright.

We both know that "diversity" means race/ethnicity and little else. So, since there is little actual diversity in the types of people that companies hire for menial jobs, why is it strived for? Why should society care, since it is only superficial?

http://exxonmobil.com...
http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com...

I don't think managers tend to look for insight from oil rig workers or burger-flippers.
My work here is, finally, done.
Df0512
Posts: 966
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7/29/2013 6:59:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Diversity is still in issue in the work place. I can say honestly that I have seen (not experienced) discrimination because how race. But this is one of those situations where I think it probably isn't a good Idea to highlight it. No one wants to feel like they missed out on a promotion because of there race. Minorities are born with one strike against them and that just how it is.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/29/2013 9:28:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think you should hire the best person for the job.

If that's all hot women. Fine.

If it's all experienced white men. Also fine.

If it's a mix. Great!

The best person should get the job. Screw diversity for the sake of diversity.
Such
Posts: 1,110
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7/30/2013 4:59:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

On one hand, I think that your reasoning for diversity in advertising professionals applies to restaurant servers to an even greater degree.

On the other, I think that diversity is a value in American businesses, because it has a past in discriminating against ethnic groups in the past that today would simply mean wasted valuable human resources that continue to consume resources.
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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7/30/2013 5:41:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I generally doubt that any workplace practice is to be lauded, unless it's something that is beneficial to society or many many people.

That being said, I think trying to diversify the workplace just to diversify it is just a bit of a stupid practice.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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7/31/2013 12:24:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

The value of diversity depends on (1) the company, (2) the type of work and (3) the kind of culture/values the company wants to foster. In law, medicine or education I think it would be hard to argue against diversity -but in a factory, it seems like it would be fairly irrelevant -but still wrong to hamper.
Tsar of DDO
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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7/31/2013 6:58:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/29/2013 12:21:35 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 7/29/2013 6:29:36 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 7/29/2013 2:02:49 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Let me make this clear...

I am asking if diversity for diversity's sake should be lauded by either companies or society. I am not suggesting there are not merits to having a diverse workforce/community. Some examples of meritable diversity:

-Professionals, like psychologist and lawyers, to assist ethnic clients better, due to language/cultural understanding

-Doctors, so the patients can be more comfortable

-Ad company, to appeal to their markets through actors/dialogue/slogan that speak to target demographics

-Schools, so students can be more worldly

However, I do not see the merit of diversity in an assembly line, or at a restaurant. Why is a core principle of a company to be diverse?

Furthermore, I do not see why management should trot their diverse managment team, when the managers' background mean little. Obviously, part of the reason businesses do this is to appeal to society, but why should society care?

Customer appeal. Liberals and minorities tend to like diversity.

Considering that the majority of people in the country are liberals and minorities, it might be a good idea to have a diverse workplace. :)

Is appealing to customers diversity for diversity's sake?

Who appeals to diversity for diversity's sake? You're going to have a hard time convincing me that Americans, who tend to be consequentialists, actually do this. Even if people aren't spelling out the advantages of diversity, they still presume its benefits when they argue for it.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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7/31/2013 11:23:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I agree with CP. I'll also add that I think that the mindsets of people who are in a position to hire should change. For instance, if a hiring manager is only hiring people of his own race, he should be rehabilitated and educated in order to hire people regardless of their race etc and only based on their skills. If he cannot do that and continues to be bigoted, then he should be fired.

Whether or not, he is racist can be found out by looking at the people that he has hired. Over a small sample, this doesn't indicate anything but large samples expose trends. Just like a biased voter who always votes for his side, a person who always hires people of the same ethnicity as him will eventually be exposed.

Just like forcing people to vote equally for both sides is unhelpful, so too is forcing people to hire a diverse workforce unhelpful. Rather, people should be taught to be unbiased.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,253
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7/31/2013 11:54:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If it's in a company's interest to employ a workforce which is diverse over one that is not, it's fine if they hire accordingly, but a company should not want to nor should people expect it to or laud it for making sacrifices. Generally, I think racial diversity is boring. Diversity of the mind -of ideology, of personality, etc - is so much more interesting and worth fighting for, albeit promoting racial diversity does foster these to some extent.