Diversity Dunces

The Lawyer’s diversity audit makes familiarly depressing reading with this particular gem catching my eye from a head of global diversity in a leading law firm about positive action discrimination to counter the self-limiting lifestyle choices of womenactual discrimination:

“Those people would never know if they got the position because they were the best person for it or if it was just because they were a woman.”

Whilst research and the lived experience of most sentient human beings suggests rather firmly that this must already be true of plenty over-promoted males, and that, yes – our natural resilience* has meant we have learnt to cope with it, it’s a bit worrying when a head of diversity spouts such an irony free, gendered view of the world.

There is a hope he’s been quoted out of context but one might expect these champions of change, promoted to positions of great import* might be a bit more communication savvy. Though perhaps not, as the Lawyer clearly felt Christmas had come early when they wrote down this quote from another male champion of the downtrodden sisters. “Quotas are binding and they force a numerical situation in a sense.”  He so clearly gets it, don’t you think?

Having sat rather uncomfortably on the fence for rather a long time, the level of analysis and understanding demonstrated by the menfolk seeking to lead on the anti-quota’s argument is driving me ever so slightly reluctantly into the arms of the Quota feministas.*  That and Rosemary Martin’s (GC of Vodafone) view of quotas, offered at a recent conference organised by the ever excellent 100 years campaign, she was asked – I paraphrase – were quotas to be deprecated or were they necessary? Quotas were definitely to be deprecated, she said, but more importantly they were also absolutely necessary.

—–

*irony alert klaxon

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About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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One Response to Diversity Dunces

  1. Pingback: The mood shifts from targets to quotas - Legal Cheek

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