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Beyond Ridiculous: Imposing Phony Diversity on the Labor Market

By: Belén Marty - @belenmarty - Jun 1, 2014, 6:29 pm

EspañolToday there exists an almost universal movement for diversity. It is politically incorrect to directly or indirectly discriminate against an employee, coworker, student, or family member. In other words, against any fellow citizen. There are laws that protect us from discrimination, international organizations that promote diversity, and internal policies in private companies that demand it.

Google busca diversidad racial y de género en su empresa. Fuente: Catalyst.
Google seeks to increase racial and gender diversity among their employees. Source: Catalyst.

But no one says what these practices really are: that they are abnormal in many ways, and that they belittle the very dignity of those that these policies allegedly try to protect.

In a recent post on the company’s blog, Google declared that it is lagging behind in terms of diversity for its employees. According to company figures, they estimate that 70 percent of employees are men, and 61 percent are white.

They said that they need to speak with clear and real facts in order to solve this problem and address the issue in an open way, without taboos.

But is it really a problem that a given company employs so many men or so many white people? Is it necessary for the company to seek out people of other races or gender just so that the community at large doesn’t condemn them? What’s all the fuss about?

The open letter from Google was published within the context of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s latest campaign. It aims to raise awareness in Silicon Valley regarding the lack of racial diversity in the boards of directors and among regular employees within the cutting-edge technology hub.

The author of Google’s blog post notes — with great excitement — how Apple will start taking positive action towards promoting women into senior positions, which today are mostly occupied by men.

Every company has the right to hire the people it considers most appropriate for the type of job required. If there is a greater tendency for men to embark on computer or technology careers, then there will mostly be men employed by companies in such industries. This is as obvious as two plus two equals four.

Furthermore, creating policies for the Human Resources department of a given company to hire a certain percentage of women, Asians, or any other particular group, is detrimental to the welfare of the rest of the population, which would face a decrease in the demand for their labor.

Of course, I am not attempting in any way to tell Google who they should or should not hire. As a private company, they have the right to establish whatever sort of diversity policies they deem appropriate for their operations. I only wish to draw attention to how stupid it is to enact these policies as if they were a genuine concern affecting the labor market.

It might all boil down to a public relations campaign by Google and Apple to generate favorable press. Who knows.

I defend the right to private contracts for all companies equally, whether 99 percent of their employees are African Americans or they seek to maintain a symbolic percentage of each minority group within their staff.

What I really don’t understand is the quest for diversity for diversity’s sake, or criticizing ourselves and others for not promoting it. Diversity arises from spontaneity and voluntary cooperation, and should not be forced by companies, governments, or international organizations.

Translated by Alan Furth.

Belén Marty Belén Marty

Belén Marty is the Libertarian Latina, a journalist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in Guatemala, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States and is a former candidate for local office with Argentina's Libertarian Party. Follow @BelenMarty.