Diversity has become a common buzzword among corporate companies the world over. And most Americans consider ethnic diversity within American society a good thing, according to recent research from the Pew Research Center.
However, they do not want be defined by their ethnicity when applying for a job – they want to be defined by their qualifications, intellect, experience and what they will bring to the job,
While most Americans say it’s at least somewhat important for companies and organizations to promote racial and ethnic diversity, only about one-in-four (24%) say that, in addition to their qualifications, a person’s race and ethnicity should be considered in decisions about hiring and promotions in order to increase diversity.
A majority (74%) says employers should only take a person’s qualifications into account when making these decisions, even if it results in less diversity in the workplace.
The problem with identity politics is that it constantly underlines difference, forcing people into feeling like they are in battling ‘tribes’.
The concept of using a person’s external characteristics, such as gender, race, religion, politics or even sexuality, to make judgments about who they are would be considered stereotyping and racist by some. Yet it seems more and more this is just what employers and big corporates are seeking to do.
Studies like this one indicate that people don’t like being boxed according to bias and stereotype in the workplace. They don’t want the government or some big corporate to attribute their worth to them and define them according to their gender, race and whatever else which seeks to put them on a battling ‘side’.
They want to be valued as a person according to their unique talents and intellect by an employer who takes the time to get to know them as an individual.
And at the end of the day, shouldn't employers in a free and democratic society be simply focussed on one question — whether a person can do the job at hand? It certainly seems that that is what Americans want.
Shannon Roberts is co-editor of Demography Is Destiny, MercatorNet's blog on population issues.