Thursday, June 20, 2019

A bit more on diversity.

Of course, I believe in diversity.

And I'll fight for diversity.

And I'll do everything in my power to help my agency and the world become more diverse.

My problem is, I'm not 100% sure that the way most people use the word diversity is really diverse, really inclusive.

This will probably get me in trouble.

(Because I have a "diverse" opinion.)

The fact is, I've never felt more estranged in an agency, more ignored, more un-considered, un-heeded, un-listened to than I do today.

There are a lot of exogenous reasons behind that.

One is that I use words like exogenous. 

The fact is, despite all our current bushwa about diversity, most agencies don't really accept people who (despite what Apple used to tell us) think different.

No, we don't really appreciate or accept differences of thought, bearing, education, vocabulary.

We don't accept people who represent that sort of diversity.

I read an article not long ago in a high-falutin' academic magazine called "Society." It's pretty heady stuff and you can read it here. But here's the gist:

[We]... tend to use the word diversity predominantly in its demographic denotation to refer to variety of external appearance instead of to variety of mental phenomena. 

Appearance, not thoughts.

"At the very least, the results of this work suggest that [we] ...use language in their own online institutional profiles, prioritize demographic types of diversity around variety of external appearance cues over intellectual heterogeneity."

My simple point is this.

If we as a society, an industry, an agency, decide to loudly embrace the concept of diversity and inclusion, some time must be taken to consider what that concept means. Or what you mean by it.

When you say you're inclusive, who are you really including and who are you excluding? When you say you want diversity, what kind of diversity do you want? Merely diversity based on appearance or diversity based on world-view, intellect, thought-patterns and more.

In short, do you want diverse diversity? Or are you just mouthing an au courant phrase?

I suspect that when we use words like diversity and inclusion they comfort us because we're saying the right thing. People will smile, nod and say, "aren't we good, aren't we righteous?"

Saying the right thing is not the same thing as doing the right thing. No matter how often you say it.

These days, that's probably the wrong thing to say.


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