THOSE who worship at the altar of diversity have newfound scripture with which to spread their gospel. And they have the most appropriate means to transmit it: social media.
Recent reports on employment diversity in the high-tech industry reveal that companies such as Twitter and Facebook are dominated by employees who are mostly white and male. Particularly of note is the scarcity of Hispanic and black employees in the Silicon Valley workforce.
Yet Asians are strongly represented in this workforce, a fact ignored by the quota cult. One guru of that movement, of course, is the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is demanding government intervention. The quota cult was behind the move to diversify higher education in California, a trend that resulted in many Asians being shut out of the system when enrollment slots were allocated.
Men account for 70 percent of Twitter’s employees and 90 percent of its tech staff. Only 12 percent are not white or Asian. This in itself doesn’t prove discrimination, but the high priests of diversity aren’t convinced. The dogmatic response to such reports is to preach diversity, chapter and verse, through some kind of quota system — something that’s never urged when it comes to the makeup of college and pro athletic teams.
Sports teams are a meritocracy, composed of the most talented people. Team rosters are made up of players who are not only the most skilled but who are willing to accept the demands and tradeoffs, which include grueling schedules and the potential for lifelong injuries.
We aren’t suggesting that Twitter is comparable to an NBA team, but we do find it troubling that the solution to a disproportionality “problem” is a quota “solution.” Twitter’s workforce, like that of other social media and tech firms, is composed of people with the skills, education and experience to do their jobs successfully.
These companies aren’t turning away women, blacks and Hispanics based on race and gender. In time, the workforce will diversify: More women, blacks and Hispanics will emerge from the places that feed Silicon Valley careers. Simply put, female and minority students have been under-represented at these places, but not because of discrimination.
Google’s workforce is also predominantly male, white and Asian. Same goes for Yahoo, Facebook and Linkedin. These companies are under intense pressure to diversify their workforce, but artificial quotas are a poor way to go about it.
The University of California’s “race-conscious” admissions system effectively reduced the number of Asian students gaining a slot while increasing enrollment for blacks, Hispanics and American Indians. California voters acted to curtail reverse discrimination with an affirmative action ban passed in November 1996. An effort to revive the old system was sailing toward a public vote this year but it hit the rocky shoals due to pressure from Asians. They feared a return to filling slots to correct disproportionality rather than filling them according to merit.
An affirmative action supporter said, “I believe we need to make sure there's equal opportunity for everyone in the state of California.” The revised standard version of this verse might read, “We need to make sure fewer white and Asian students are in our colleges.”
Disproportionality is an oft-heard argument. We’ve heard laments about the number of Palestinian fatalities in the current Holy Land conflict versus the number of Israeli casualties. But Israel doesn’t use civilians as human shields.
The creation story in the tech world is that some white male nerds started the thing and other white male nerds (and then Asians) were attracted to the field. Yeah, though, nerds of a different color and gender are being drawn to Silicon Valley. Verily their numbers will multiply — without artificial quotas.