Something fascinating is happening in the world of tech. It would seem that based on the comments of some, the entire industry is racist and has somehow avoided lawsuits. As a result of high-profile accusations, Twitter like others in silicon Valley has recently posted that they will start to increase their diversity. They explain they will be more proud of themselves if they are more diverse. Moreover, they will do better financially if more women are in charge.
In order to meet these goals they have a plan to actively recruit more minorities and women to their company.
Here is the challenge though. Is Twitter intentionally discriminating against minorities and women today? If so, this is illegal and we should see some lawsuits shortly as their diversity numbers are now public.
If not and they currently hire the best person for the job regardless of other factors, then what Twitter is telling us is whatever they did to get the company to this point – an extremely successful social media company, will change now. In other words a white male who is qualified for a job may lose out to a less-qualified candidate.
If in fact as Twitter explains, “women in leadership roles produce better financial results,” is the implication not that a qualified man is now less likely to get a job?
The challenge here is this whole line of reasoning is discriminatory. It implies a male and female equally qualified will not produce equal results.
I could see men who aren’t hired as Twitter managers now suing as a result of such comments.
Here is another one from the post which caught my eye:
We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity — and we are no exception.
Is it possible the reason for this lack of diversity has to do with choices potential job candidates are making? I covered a while back that Twitter’s lack of diversity may have more to do with the fact that tech is considered nerdy. After all my tech classes in engineering school had few women but there were many Indian and Chinese students. This is the norm.
Silicon Valley and in fact most every tech company has almost the same ratio as college courses.
Tech is not interesting to everyone. I have seen many female workers leave the tech field for areas of actual interest such as fashion or decorating. Likewise for men, some will leave tech to work in sports or other areas which they are more passionate about.
It is illegal to not hire people based on skin color, religion, home address, sexual orientation and age already. But if a company isn’t doing anything illegal, does it make sense for them to focus on “actively recruiting” people who may or may not be the best hires?
Moreover, is this focus – noble as it sounds, discriminatory? Finally, will it hurt shareholders if less qualified people get hired as a result of such initiatives?