By John Fitzgerald Gates, Ph.D. | Originally Published at Huffington Post Business. July 24, 2014 12:49 pm EDT
It has been said, “diversity management is a racket.” Regrettably, there is a great deal of truth in this statement. In fact, “diversity management” has become a thriving industry with few bottom-line results that is in little danger of disappearing; we have all bought into a social construct that permits us to feel good about perpetrating a fraud. Corporations, universities, government agencies, minorities and “good white folks” alike — we are all complicit in pimping diversity.
Much like affirmative action, diversity management was developed to advance a multicultural workplace. Today, diversity management is a billion dollar industry that is embedded in the mission statements of most large organizations in the U.S. For better or worse, the federal government has been the most significant driver of diversity management through requirements by federal agencies – from the Department of Labor to the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts – that large employers report their workforce demographics, and that recipients of federal grants and contracts meet particular diversity workforce or subcontracting criteria.
Corporate America has also been a substantial contributor to the practice of diversity management in order to identify and nurture diverse talent, reduce discrimination lawsuits, and enhance workplace cultures and outcomes. And universities have played a key role in advancing the field through their emphasis on ensuring diverse applicant pools in hiring, equity in pay and promotion, and quality programming in support of more inclusive and vibrant academic communities. As noble as the reasons for the existence of diversity management are, the practice has been so defiled that it is little more than a channel to service the needs of those of us who profit from it.
Undoubtedly, there are individuals and corporations with a sincere commitment to true diversity. However, empathyeducates – Pimping Diversity: