In today’s global business environment, we believe that it is essential for us to have a workforce of individuals from widely different backgrounds, cultures and life experiences.
Diversity matters in our business. Diversity in gender, ethnicity, age and other factors supports first-hand understanding of regional markets and sensitivity to local customs. We believe that we also gain a competitive advantage from more subtle differences in background, experience and thought. These elements give our employees a unique perspective to anticipate the needs of our increasingly diverse client base and generate the most appropriate, innovative, solutions for them. We work to strengthen the diversity and inclusiveness of our workforce because, in the end, our long-term success depends on equal employment opportunity and having the best people in the right roles.
Our workforce is truly global – our employees are citizens of 147 countries. In 2010, the average age of our employees was 38 years, with the average length of employment at UBS at 8.6 years.
The scope of our diversity strategy and initiatives is both global and regional. Our global, top-down diversity strategy includes divisional diversity goals, and we are actively partnering with firm’s senior management to achieve them. Our regional diversity teams translate our global commitment into action by working with local business and HR leaders on business-aligned plans that are linked to regional talent strategies. We also have more than 20 employee networks. These networks help our employees build cross-business relationships and strengthen our inclusive culture. We have global network guidelines that enable our employees to set up or join employee networks or affinity groups in any of our operating regions.
The parts in bold is corporate jargon for “we force our managers to hire people based on race, gender, nationality and age. The way it usually works is that failure to hire “people of color”, females etc. results in poor reviews, withholding of raises and a lack of opportunities for advancement in the company.
Against this backdrop, we can understand how a person like Kweku Adoboli most likely got his job. Here he is being led away after having lost $2 billion dollars through unauthorized trading:
He doesn’t seem very upset about it; after all, it wasn’t his money that he lost and he’ll just get a slap on the wrist. Here’s the video. Will UBS ever question the (probable) role of diversity goals in this expensive fiasco? Don’t count on it.
Of course, there have been other rogue traders in the past who have lost millions or billions, and they were white. But as long as a company has policies in place that force the employment of inferior people*, then the rest of us will suspect that those policies were to blame whenever a beneficiary of those policies turns out to be the culprit.
An analogy would be a smoker who is diagnosed with lung cancer. His doctor will blame the smoking – but the cancer might have had nothing to do with smoking; it could have been bad genes or bad luck. If smoking is likely bad for your health, it would be smart to quit – even if a non smoking-related illness is bound to strike you down sooner or later. We reduce the risk-factors. Diversity goals are a risk factor.
*People who were hired in order to fill a quota, and were not necessarily the best for the job.