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Is racial diversity in the workforce a positive or negative thing and should it be the goal of private institutions?

asked Dec 26 '10 at 22:31

Fareed's gravatar image


edited Dec 27 '10 at 00:50

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦


Racial diversity as such is irrelevant. It is neither good nor bad. That is to say, the fraction of people of one particular race in an organization is not relevant to how well the organization will achieve its goals. However, an active focus on the irrelevant is actively harmful. The organization should focus on activities that will help it achieve its goals, rather than waste its time. Additionally, an active focus on the irrelevant at the expense of focus on the relevant will harm the organization. The focus should be, instead, on hiring the best and brightest, whatever their races are.

(Dec 26 '10 at 22:42) Justice Justice's gravatar image

If a certain ex-Vice President of a company disliked blonde haired people and refused to hire them, a newer Vice President cannot do justice to those competent people who were not hired by the ex-VP by hiring blonde haired people.

The only way to do justice in such a situation is to hire competent people regardless of their hair color.

(Dec 27 '10 at 05:21) Edwin Edwin's gravatar image

Definitely not. A company should hire the most talented people it can afford for any given position. Having a diversity of skills and experience is valuable, but one should not mistake genetic diversity for intellectual diversity. In cases where there are genuine physical requirements for a job, the company should judge whether a given candidate meets an objective standard determined by the nature of the job (e.g., flight attendants must be slender enough to fit in the small spaces of a commercial aircraft, and strong enough to help passengers in an emergency).

That being said, it is still a private choice for any given organization to make, and the government has no role here. If a company systematically pursues a bad hiring policy (i.e., only hiring a specific ethnic background, regardless of ability), they serious limit their ability to compete with companies who simply hire the best talent available (regardless of ethnic background).

answered Feb 09 '11 at 12:33

Andrew%20Miner's gravatar image

Andrew Miner ♦

edited Feb 11 '11 at 02:51

In my experience, racial diversity--and diversity in general--is a code word for discrimination based upon non-essentials. In a free market, the practice would self-extinguish; those that avoid it would displace those that do not. However, those acting in a regulated, or mixed, or fascist economy--as in the US--might find themselves excluded by force if they do not at least proclaim support for this counterproductive idea. In such a system, acting to stifle the powerless--those not supported by the regulators of the socioeconomic system--is the only viable choice. I do wish those that choose to play on this field would declare, "We do not discriminate on the basis of race (or sex) except where required by law."

answered Feb 16 '11 at 01:37

sector7agent's gravatar image

sector7agent ♦

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Asked: Dec 26 '10 at 22:31

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Last updated: Feb 16 '11 at 01:37