In the United States we’ve gone out of our way to tout the importance of diversification. We’ve demanded it in the workplace, in our government, in our schools, and in our military. Many believe that’s a good thing, as do I, with a caveat. We should celebrate diversity, and all of its benefits. Still, diversity should not be forced, rather it should be celebrated. I’d like to talk to you a little bit more about this if I might.
The World Policy Journal in spring 2013 had a very interesting article titled; “Embracing Diversity,” by Thorbjorn Jagland where he stated; “we have to harmonize our concept of open society against the back ground of growing diversity.” Yes, that makes sense and yet, we also need to make sure that when we allow for cultural diversity, that shouldn’t mean self-segregation and the right to disembark from the whole of an open society either. Do you see that point?
If you travel through a large sprawling metro area like the Los Angeles Basin, you can’t travel very far without noticing the incredible diversity. But you also notice the self-segregation where groups and communities of different types live very close to one another, and are separate but equal. That’s not really diversity of the overall society. It is a nice live and let live situation, and humans are generally more apt to live and associate with people like them, of their same religion, ethnic group, income status, etc. Who are we to change what people have chosen to do individually, or in groups?
If we take all these people and force them back together so that there is equality and upward mobility for all, that means we have to force people in Chinatown to hire white people even though they don’t speak the language to work in their shops. We know that’s not going to happen. And why are we kidding ourselves when we brag about our diversity, if people really don’t want diversity at all?
What about gender issues? Should we force women to work in jobs they may not be suited for, or are not interested in? Should we modify the game to allow them upward mobility, even if they might not want to partake in those special programs we create? Remember creating these programs costs money, it takes time, and it alienates others who are more inclined to do those tasks, jobs, or want to excel to climb those ladders let’s say in a corporation for instance.
This sort of thing is happening Radio everywhere, in fact Harvard Business Review in the August 2013 Issue had an interesting piece titled; “Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers,” by Heminia Ibarra, Robin Ely, and Deborah Kolb which stated; “Many CEOs which make gender diversity a priority – are frustrated. They and their companies spend time, money and good intentions on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of upward mobile women, and then nothing happens.”
At some point we need to come to terms with all of this, we need to realize that forced diversity is a nightmare. We should celebrate our differences, and allow people to choose, we should not take away their right to pursue their own happiness, nor should we put up barriers for entry, or let some people have an advantage just because they seem to clearly underrepresented in a given category.