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Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo

Diversity, Unicorns and maybe a dragon or two

Diversity – The buzz word.  The one thing that we all strive for and fail miserably.

Oh no! Here come the dragons! Those people that have “bad” thinking skills.  They don’t think they do.  In fact they are sure they don’t.

So let’s think about this – what is a diverse workforce?

  1. Older people. They can’t learn new things. We all know that.
  2. LGBT. They are just sick in the head.
  3. Different cultures. Those people are after our jobs.
  4. Females in the workplace! They should be at home with their kids. I mean look at all the problems caused by kids. It was caused when the FEMALEs took our jobs.
  5. Younger people out of college. They know nothing and expect to learn while getting paid. Then they just take their knowledge and more on.
  6. African Americans – specifically. They are just plain not qualified. They are part of the quota system.
  7. And so many more people that aren’t like you. They don’t think like you. They can’t possibly understand you.

You – have you thought those things?

Have you thought any of those things? Don’t say any of them out loud. Don’t think them. Or you are a dragon. Dragging things down.

So what is going on? How do we fix this. Dang it! I want more unicorns running around. Dragons just make me sad.

The current state of things:

First what is going on: Higher education and jobs do have quotas to meet. That causes resentment. A candidate that isn’t the best pick, may be is getting in due to quotas. I think that is a good thing. Really you say…  Didn’t you lose one of your jobs due to outsourcing. But that doesn’t count. Now the workplace isn’t diverse again. So back to quotas without them, some people would not get jobs. They would never get the education they needed. I don’t think we are ready yet to tear them down. I would love to say – yes we don’t need them. But see 1 – 7… Most people would not say anything like that aloud. Gosh – I hope they don’t. But there are still people with that attitude.

So now you are hired in as part of a “quota”. That just means you must work harder to change those attitudes. Is it fair? NO! Is it exhausting. Yes it is.

Was it really 1839 when women joined the workforce? Do we have equality just on that now? I would say no. Only really 2015 when LGBT rights were established. Age discrimination was protected in 1967.  You get the picture – some of these are very old. Some just established.

Sad but true story:

Several jobs ago: A consulting firm was working at my company. I had a great – at least in my mind – idea to help our project. The person in charge off the project, didn’t even listen. How do I know? I was exhausted. This was a small battle. I had a male co-worker suggest the same thing. Guess what? They did it. The project was better with it. Why on Earth would I do that? I didn’t want the label of being hard to work with. Oh boy, I just promoted anti-diversity in the workplace. But I’m sure there are more stories like this one.

Some blockers:

OK – I am from a small area. I can’t be diverse based on the population.  I agree this one is hard.  I guess all I can say is look to the future. With all the technology we have it is easy to work from home.

Small shop – I can’t higher that many people. How do I achieve diversity. You can’t. Just understand that you are missing out on some great resources.

Fix it – please fix it:

So I have said there is a diversity issue. How do we fix it?

  1. Less people in the US are graduating with STEM degrees. I would say that we have to add different cultures.
  2. Less women are graduating with STEM degrees. I say start them in grade school. When playing doctor – get you daughter to be the doctor. I still say I brainwashed my kid. Since the time he could talk I told him he was going to college. I really didn’t care what degree. He is going to college.  So stop the brainwashing of our younger generation. Or start it. Make sure the “different” people know they can have any job. Make sure that LGBT feel safe. That any culture feels safe. This will take a while. To educate the children, you must educate the adults first. So perhaps it will work itself out in several generations.
  3. Do not allow picking on people that are LGBT. Stand with them. I think this is the group right now that needs the most help.
  4. Yes. <sigh> I believe we need quotas now. That won’t change for several generations.  Otherwise some fantastic  resources will never be used.  True equality does mean we don’t need quotas. If you are one of the unfortunate quota people. You work harder to gain the respect that you should have gotten when you walked in the door. Not fair! I agree. BUT remember you are helping to change some perceptions.  Some will never be changed. But if you have changed just one – that’s a great thing..  Don’t forget to look for those dragons.
  5. Change the way you think. Let me say it again – change the way you think. It’s harder than, well, you think.
  6. “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is sliver and the other gold.” Sorry I have that floating around in my head. I believe it was from Girl Scouts. Go out of your way to meet people that are not in your comfort zone. We have the WWW – do they still call it that? You can meet people from anywhere.

Will that fix it? I’m not sure, but we sure can try to fight the good fight.  By the way at this time LGBT have it the worse. Why? Our own preachers are giving sermons about them. And most of the time it isn’t good.

If you haven’t read it yet, Moya has an amazing blog. One where she says no quotas. 🙂 It’s all about perspective – right?

BTW – the title. Dragons = people who want to drag you down. Unicorns – mythical beast = true equality. I hope to see more and more of that around.

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      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal

      Thanks Michelle Crapo for writing an amazing blog.

      Many don’t like to admit the fact that not everyone could be or think like them. Accepting others as they are, and supporting them in overcoming their specific challenges, in fact help in living peacefully. Just as a child can’t be expected to perform like an adult, one set of population can’t be same like other; the differences are there and they make life colorful. The disagreements between groups shouldn’t lead to gaps but to learn and perform better.

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      Totally agree. Besides it would be just plain boring if we all thought the same.