Friday, 23 March 2018

My Challenge With Diversity and Equality

I have written reasonably regularly about diversity and equality.

When doing so, it has always been at the back of my mind that I write from a privileged position.

As a white, allegedly educated male living in a predominantly Anglo Saxon society, I have been the benefactor of what may be referred to as gender inequality and a lack of diversity.

Bottom line is, I have never really suffered any discrimination.

I have always been cynical about calls for quotas in order to correct inequality. My preference has been to establish such a robust and clear selection criterion that the best person irrespective of gender, age or race.

However, I also realise that a quota approach will more quickly establish a more balanced base upon which to build a proper process where the best person always receives the opportunity.

My concern I guess, has been that discriminating positively, is not the right way to correct a situation born from discrimination, but then I am often accused of overt idealism.

I had been coming around to being more understanding of quotas and positive discrimination to more quickly establish an equilibrium

However, feedback from my recent International Women’s Day survey included 2 stories from one Women talking about highly qualified and experienced Males being overlooked in favour of novice Females for important roles in the Police and Military.

Fair or not?

My confusion has returned as has my awareness that as one who has never been adversely impacted by discrimination, it is difficult to form a balanced view.

Until today when I was confronted by a questionnaire.

I was studiously completing a submission for a writing assignment I am keen to be appointed to.

It was an online template submission, uploading documents, answering questions and the like and when all 6 steps are completed, click submit.

Having done so, I was then confronted with a further questionnaire. The questionnaire explanation referenced the contractors commitment to diversity and equal opportunity and that to meet their commitment, they need further information.

I did have the option to decline and contemplated doing so. I went ahead as I could see no real reason to not provide the information and it felt a little hypocritical to not do so.

The questions I answered about gender, race, age, ethnic background and a few other things are designed to provide information to ensure they maintain true diversity.

As new and as confronting as this was, it also occurred to me that this is truly an entity I would like to perform some work for.
Weekend time has arrived, enjoy, make the most of it, re-charge and embrace.

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