An MSN article (the Inc.com article requires an account to read) by a Diversity Hire (Sonia Thompson) complains that the term “Diversity Hire” is demeaning:
It’s Time To Retire the Term ‘Diversity Hire’
Any time you bring in more diverse talent, the goal and messaging should focus on how the new team members will help your organization be better…
But building a diverse team doesn’t automatically guarantee that you will reap the benefits of one. You need to cultivate an environment that makes it ripe for everyone on your team to thrive, especially those who are part of underrepresented groups.
A simple way to start laying the foundation for that inclusive environment where everyone feels like they belong is getting rid of the term diversity hire…
There is a negative stigma asociated with it. Whether said out loud or not, people who are perceived to be diversity hires are often treated differently by both their peers and others within the organization. People assume this talent was hired, not because of their merit, but because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or other criteria. Others assume that standards were lowered to make it possible for diverse candidates to meet job requirements. Thus people labled diversity hires are often resented, rather than respected.
That’s correct Sonia, this is EXACTLY how you are perceived, and for good reason. The moment a company prioritizes “Diverse hiring” there will be incentives to hire based on Diversity, and penalties for failing to do so. We’ve seen this over and over again, and only the willfully ignorant are unaware of this.
… and now, to add insult to injury, we’re being told it’s forbidden to even use accurate terminology for this phenomenon. How Orwellian of you Sonia!
But I’m not here to talk about something I’ve already discussed countless times. What’s most interesting about this article is the claim that “Diverse” companies make more money. The article doesn’t actually present evidence of this. Instead, it links to it:
This is good news. Not only will it better equip you to authentically serve a broader group of customers, but data shows that diverse teams outperform their peers from a financial standpoint.
Let’s follow that link, shall we?
It takes us to an article from Inc.com, whose heading is:
Want to Outperform Your Peers? A Study of 366 Companies Says Do This 1 Thing
Emerging trends also indicate not doing it will soon be a liability for your company.
In 2015, consulting firm McKinsey published their research of 366 public companies and thousands of executives in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Latin America. Their statistically significant findings showed a clear relationship between a more diverse leadership team and better financial performance.
Specifically, their data showed companies in the top 25 percent of racial and ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry norm. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have greater than average returns.
The article goes on to list the ways your company could suffer if it fails to hire based on Diversity. Interestingly, the risk of discrimination lawsuits is not featured on the list. It also fails to mention government penalties for a lack of Diversity. For example, this recent demand by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Following the link in the article takes us to yet another Inc.com article, with the heading:
Your Business Growth Will Stall if Your Culture Doesn’t Support Diversity and Inclusion
It goes on to make the same claim, and throws in a few examples, but no actual study…
It does, however, contain a LINK to a study:
As a company making decisions about where allocate precious resources and how to create the most value under serious constraints, a short-term hit is hard to swallow. But the data says that diversity does positively impact team performance…
Following the link, we’re taken to yet another Inc.com article with the heading:
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The whole affair is like Russian dolls, and it does look like Inc.com is actually a click mill, where each click represents profits. As for the company that did the one available study in the first place, McKinsey & Co., it appears to be a legitimate company, but their conclusions are open to interpretation.
I’d like to see more details on the study, and I’d like to know if it takes discrimination lawsuits and government coercion into account – because otherwise, it’s a circular argument.
On the one hand, they’re penalizing companies that are “too white” through lawsuits, government penalties and boycotts, which will obviously take a financial toll on “non-Diverse” companies – and then they turn around and tell us that Diversity is important, because you’ll make less money without it. It’s a lot like the mafia sending thugs to your shop, and then offering to protect you for the right price. “Nice business you’ve got there… it’d be a shame if anything happened to it. Hire some Diversity, and we’ll protect you.”