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Why is Diversity Valued?

Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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5/18/2015 11:26:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Now, let me be clear, although, I am sure this will be misunderstood:
1. This thread is not about affirmative action
2. This thread is not about fighting discrimination or institutional racism
3. This thread is about valuing diversity, especially as a corporate value.

http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com...
https://corporate.target.com...

These two companies are not alone in their promoting diversity, but why is this a valuable asset to most companies? I do not see any advantage to having a diverse workforce, as most positions at most employers are expected to follow orders of management blindly and without question. At best, in the off chance they move up to a position that can create change in policy, the diverse viewpoint may have a chance of being implemented. After all, one could make the argument that opposing views/lifestyles/mannerisms cause strife among staff, which hurts morale and productivity, but that is a tangent.

So, why do companies do this? The obvious answer is to appease societal views that diversity is a good thing, because bad PR hurts their bottom line. (yeah, chasing the almighty dollar) So, this begs the question why does society value diversity?

It seems hypocritical, to be honest, and the benefits are likely outweighed by the costs.
It is hypocritical because people often associate among groups of people. Whether this group of people is based on race, gender, socioeconimical status, intelligence, age, political affiliation, personality, religion, or whatever, people are often opposed to diversity at some point.

Regardless of whether it is hypocritical or not, what value does diversity serve, ESPECIALLY at a company (well, most companies/positions)? More importantly, how is this diversity quantified and observed? Using race, is diversity met if you have five people who are all white, but come from different parts of the country, have different views, and have different backgrounds? Is diversity met if you have one of five races, a mix of genders, but everyone is a Mitt Romney clone? Is diversity met if you have different races and genders in the group, but are ignored because they are just token members?

And this last question brings the major flaw in valuing diversity: it promotes racism/sexism. Instead of assuming that a company's middle management are diversified or the best fit or best skilled for the job, the company must also consider race/gender/etc., which means your race/gender is just as important as your abilities, the public looks to see what percentage of management is diverse, based on race. So, the public, too, is focused on race/sex, and, further, it is assumed that all people of one race/gender are equally diverse.

So, please tell me, why is diversity valued for diversity's sake, when it is nothing more than aesthetics (usually)?

Note: I would argue that diversity is important in universities (being exposed to others' ideas is valuable), jobs where connecting to others is important (like ad execs, writers, etc.), and most professional occupations, so clientele can be more comfortable.

But, the last two are just as business motivated as placating public's demand for diversity, which makes the decision not about diversity, but about appealing to consumers (like having both male and female OB-GYNs so the patient can choose, since some have strong opinions on the matter).
My work here is, finally, done.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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5/18/2015 2:45:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Diversity has value, because WITH a conversation about diversity, the very issues you raise can be discussed. If it's not even talked about, then you get nothing but a sea of white dudes. Well, historically.

From a societal standpoint, valuing diversity is good because diversity exists, so not valuing diversity is only going to breed racism, sexism, classism, etc. If you think racism, classism, and sexism et al are bad, then you value diversity. What that means is, of course, up for grabs, because it's a fuzzily defined concept. The point is that it's better to at least think about what you're doing in terms of your interactions, and intend to be inclusive, than it is to be lazy and bow to our species's natural predisposition to only interact/befriend/employ people like ourselves.

From a business standpoint, while part of it is the public/external face aspect, I also think part of it is the whole polite-fiction thing internally. No employer SAYS "Look, what we want are corporate drones. Shut your mouth and do what we tell you, even if it's illegal, especially if it's immoral, don't ask questions and don't cost us anything." They all WANT that. They just know SAYING it is going to negatively impact the workforce. Which is similar to the societal consequences, but I think it's different because it's an internal thing.
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Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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5/18/2015 3:19:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/18/2015 11:26:59 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:

I don't have time to write a long response to this right now, so I will just point to one thing you mention in the OP as an interesting note.

It is hypocritical because people often associate among groups of people. Whether this group of people is based on race, gender, socioeconimical status, intelligence, age, political affiliation, personality, religion, or whatever, people are often opposed to diversity at some point.

You're describing a process called homophily, in which individuals tend to prefer those who they perceive as similar to themselves along some axis (e.g., age, gender, race). Homophily influences our preferences (e.g., we think more favorably of in-group members than out-group members) and behaviors (e.g., we act more favorably toward in-group members than out-group members). This fact alone justifies diversity measures: diverse samples are more inclined toward serving the needs and interests of a diverse population.

And this last question brings the major flaw in valuing diversity: it promotes racism/sexism.

The opposite is true. My above comment is just a quick thought, I don't have much time right now. Food for thought, though.
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Dilara
Posts: 661
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5/18/2015 6:18:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't care what race you are as long as you are qualified and do your job well. I think it's important to know people from different politics parties, religions, races ect but I'm not gonna throw a hissy fit if my colleagues are all the same race or religion.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,288
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5/19/2015 11:31:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I think diversity is fine if promotes the acceptance mixed colors into your dominant culture.

Society works best and more efficient when it is normalized and people watch out for each other with equal concern and worse when anarchy rules.
iSpy
Posts: 41
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5/23/2015 9:06:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Diversity is valued in business because having a broader range of input, ideas and opinions can help to expand your goods or services to a wider demographic and potentially increase revenue for the business.

If my job is to design an iPhone, I want a team comprised of different genders, ages, cultures and ethnicities, in order to make a phone that appeals to as many people as possible.
Cowboy0108
Posts: 420
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5/24/2015 7:20:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I do not see the point of racial diversity. However, I can see the argument for personality and talent diversity.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,288
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5/24/2015 7:26:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 10:15:30 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
It affirms the lack of blind egomaniacal racial/nationalistic/cultural supremacy.

You say cultural supremacy like it's a bad thing.

Maybe we should resurrect the Aztec culture along with blood sacrifices?

After all, you wouldn't want to be labeled a cultural supremacist, would you?
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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5/25/2015 11:54:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/24/2015 7:26:09 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 5/24/2015 10:15:30 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
It affirms the lack of blind egomaniacal racial/nationalistic/cultural supremacy.

You say cultural supremacy like it's a bad thing.

Maybe we should resurrect the Aztec culture along with blood sacrifices?

After all, you wouldn't want to be labeled a cultural supremacist, would you?

Blind egomaniacal cultural supremecy is bad; it is quite obvious that cultures are not inherently equal, even if many characteristics are more or less neutral. What I oppose is the belief that a person's cultural is inherently perfect (and hence everything else is inferior) regardless of what it does.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,288
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5/25/2015 12:36:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/25/2015 11:54:06 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 5/24/2015 7:26:09 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 5/24/2015 10:15:30 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
It affirms the lack of blind egomaniacal racial/nationalistic/cultural supremacy.

You say cultural supremacy like it's a bad thing.

Maybe we should resurrect the Aztec culture along with blood sacrifices?

After all, you wouldn't want to be labeled a cultural supremacist, would you?

Blind egomaniacal cultural supremecy is bad; it is quite obvious that cultures are not inherently equal, even if many characteristics are more or less neutral. What I oppose is the belief that a person's cultural is inherently perfect (and hence everything else is inferior) regardless of what it does.

What someone believes is irrelevant. There is a reason why cultures disappear.
neoryan1
Posts: 22
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5/25/2015 6:32:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Because as much as people like to block it out and say we're all equal, we aren't. Men and Women are each naturally better at certain jobs. Different races are different too, but are more similar than genders.