I think that there are a lot of benefits to promoting diversity in the workplace. I think that people who are able to work with a variety of people can benefit from it. I don't however think that people should be overlooked in the hiring process just because a workplace is trying to make it more diverse.
I believe there are significant benefits to promoting diversity in the workplace. I believe this is good thing to do to promote acceptance across the population. Promoting diversity is being socially responsible and companies should strive to be socially responsible. When you do right by your employees you're more likely to do right by your customers.
The less diverse a group of people, the less diversity of opinions and thoughts. A major benefit to having an heterogeneous group of people in the workplace, rather than an homogeneous one, is that when issues are addressed the group is likely to come up with more opinions and potential solutions for problems.
Yes, there are significant benefits to promoting diversity in the workplace, because having different points of view on things can help bring new approaches to problem solving. Also, minorities and women will feel more comfortable in the work place if there is a diversity of thought among the other employees.
Let's assume that all human beings have the capacity to be equal, if given the same opportunities. A pretty safe and fair assumption to make.* However, to an employer, the primary goal is to make money through the labor of the employees. Therefore, whoever provides the employer with the best return on the investment of employment should be employed.
This is where diversity quotas damage industry. To hire someone for a reason other than their ability to perform their job role, whether it's nepotism, cronyism or affirmative action, is to recklessly risk profit for the company.
Obviously, affirmative action can be viewed as positive and may improve company image, but realistically, how many people stop and consider what percentage of apple were an ethnic minority before they buy an iPhone? If you're willing to risk your employment base that the company relies on for the minute market share that may or may not come with the cast of the 'It's a small world' ride, you shouldn't be put in a position to make any decisions for a business.
If we can agree everyone is capable of the same outcome with the same opportunities, then it does not matter what colour, gender or orientation an individual is, rather the ability to benefit the company. Playing the identity politics game drives us apart and damages industry. Hard work alone should determine the employee, and if certain people need more help, we should make sure they have the same opportunities as their peers, and nothing more.