Sunday, December 15, 2013

Diversity thoughts...

Diversity is a buzzword these days. Anybody and their uncle are after diversity. If you can talk about diversity, rest assured that you will have an audience that will eat out of your hands.

Last week, I met an interesting person who argued that diversity the way we see it  - especially from a gender perspective often just involves making a woman compete in a race where the rules are set by men. His point was that while we talk diversity, we often want the woman to be more like men - driving hard deadlines, setting tasks etc etc. The larger discussion was about masculinity and femininity and perhaps even larger around the 'left' and 'right' brain.

And that begets the question - what exactly is diversity. Is it just hiring a few women into the workplace - which is the easiest thing to do - especially when you want to show numbers.

But (and this has been my view for a while), is that diversity really resulting in thought diversity? And I dont mean you hire sociopaths and misogynists for thought diversity. Thought diversity means hiring people who have sharper strengths as opposed to rounded strengths. And then some. But the question I have in my mind - are we hiring for thought diversity (and this may or not may result from cultural diversity and educational diversity and diversity of experiences) as opposed to plain gender diversity.

So, are the creative people in the team given space to be creative and the process oriented people given the space to be comfortable in their processes and yet being accountable to the same high standard - just an example.

Caution: Developing thought


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