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Saturday, March 20, 2010

A short note on corporate "diversity training" 


Glenn Reynolds links to a New York Times blog post that raises the possibility that corporate diversity training might not "work." The underlying story cites this study on the Harvard University web site. No, I did not have the stamina or even the inclination to read a 30 page article in the American Sociological Review from front to back. But then, I suspect the various reporters who covered the story did not, either.

In any case, when asking whether anything "works," you also need to ask "in what respect"? All of Glenn Reynolds, the New York Times blogger, the Boston Globe reporter, and the authors of the academic study more or less assume that the correct measure of the success of these programs is a change in corporate behavior resulting in more women and minorities in management. That is not, however, the explanation for diversity training offered by human resources departments or even the expert diversity dudes who advise corporate America. Most (if not all) such people tell the trainees that the purpose of diversity training is (1) to promote acceptance and understanding of different cultures and their attendant ideas and values, thereby increasing the effectiveness and profitability of the enterprise in the global marketplace, and (2) to protect the company and its individual managers against liability for employment discrimination. Indeed, I have never once heard somebody argue for these programs on the theory that they would actually increase the numbers of women and minorities in management (although I suspect that you hear such arguments inside large government contractors, who often need visible minority executives to win business from politicians).

There is, of course, a reason why nobody gives the affirmative action reason. If you tell a bunch of white men that they are taking these classes so that women and minorities will be more likely to take their jobs, they are not going to throw themselves in to the diversity training with gusto and might well subvert it.

The result is that we have Harvard professors measuring whether diversity programs "work" to increase the quantity of women and minorities in management, when that is never the reason given for the training. From the perspective of a corporate tool such as myself, the far more relevant end points would be profitability (are companies with these programs more profitable than companies which do not have them?) and liability (is there less litigation against companies which have these programs?). The promotion of more women and minorities might well be the happy dividend of these programs and it is an objective I support and indeed sustain within my own company, but under the usual formulation it is not their purpose. How then do you say they do not "work" if you are measuring them against an unstated and perhaps even unintended objective?

Of course, the professors might respond that competitiveness and liability management are not the real reasons for the training, only the sham justifications offered to secure the cooperation of the white male middle management, and that the actual purpose is to promote more women and minorities. Well, if the training is founded on a deceptive purpose then people will treat it with all the respect it deserves for being so disrespectful of them. We should not then be surprised if it fails.


41 Comments:

By Blogger TOF, at Sat Mar 20, 09:31:00 AM:

...and that is why it is said that professors live in ivory towers.  

By Anonymous Diggs, at Sat Mar 20, 10:14:00 AM:

Diversity training is even worse in the Army. We have the most diverse workforce in the world, but white males in the Army are treated by the trainers as if we are slightly more intellectually developed than a protozoa.  

By Anonymous Locker Room, at Sat Mar 20, 10:25:00 AM:

Diversity training is a transparently foul racket - racialism dressed up in business attire - and an utter disgrace. Anything that contributes to the mindset that there is any merit in viewing people as members of groups rather than as unique individuals is toxic to the health of society.
I told my wife the other day she can fill out the census form for herself any way she wants, but I will leave blank all quota-feeding questions on race and ethnicity.
I adopt the approach of Chief Justice Roberts on such matters "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." His remarks apply equally to matters of gender.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Sat Mar 20, 10:39:00 AM:

Amazing how these numbskull views are flowing from wingnut whiteguys for seem too chickenshit to use their real names (as is Tigerhawk). Wonder what all the "minorities" who, regretably, work under you...or, God forbid, live and work work around or even OVER you, would say?

Let's find out.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 10:39:00 AM:

The correct answer to Question #9 on the census is 'American'.  

By Anonymous WLindsayWheeler, at Sat Mar 20, 10:58:00 AM:

To deny race, the nature of race, that there are such things as racial differences, and to nullify race is Nihilism. How anyone including Tigerhawk consider themselves "conservative" when in fact the pushing of diverstiy and diversity training is """"Progressive"""" is absolutely ludicrous!

It is very funny for European corporate executives pushing for diversity. The first law, the Natural Law is "SALUS POPULI, LEX SUPREMA"; meaning "the health of the people is the supreme law". Are European corporate execs carrying about the health of their own kinsmen---or for the sake of the almighty Dollar---stabbing and betraying their own kinsmen in the back? I would gather that the Dollar is God, Money is God, and that European Corporate Execs are obedient to Filthy Lucre than they are to the Natural Law.

Diversity training is Marxism and is also FreeMasonry. Both condemned by the Church, traditional and orthodox. Marxism and Freemasonry are about deracination. Please tell me how "deracination" is a conservative plank?

The Old Order, the Order which God the Creator made, is of race. Marxism and Freemasonry which want to build a "Novus Ordo" is about destroying race.

One's loyalty and first love is his own Tribe. First and Foremost!

I am NOT an "American", a Masonic creation. I am what God made me! I am of the Tribe of Dorians, of the Nation of Hellenes and a European. I am what God made me and I am obedient to God, and NOT to the Judeo Masonic Bolshevism of Corporate/Academic/Media Americanism.

Some here are in serious error and are unrighteous and promoting unrighteousness--adikia--which God condemns.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 11:06:00 AM:

You want to stop even the most arrogant, anti-American leftist from preaching about diversity? Sure, diversity is "good" for the faculty and student body of an enlightened university. Why isn't it good for that university's basketball team?
Geez, just watch any NCAA game and there is nothing but black ball players. That can't be a normal distribution. Tall black guys MUST be stereotyped into playing basketball and not allowed to pursue other college activities that might better fit their own personal interests and future interests.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 11:06:00 AM:

"Diversity" is nothing but Cultural Marxism. It is the willing extinction of Western, Caucasiain culture. It is absurd.

But it already has worked, it's too late. The West, the United States is all but over.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 11:08:00 AM:

The West & and USA are over. Diversity/multi-culturalism has won out. For proof, see the Marxist-Moooslim in the White House.

Mass immigration is a big part of it, combined with leftism/Marxism. We are kaput.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 11:17:00 AM:

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide.
- Jerry Pournelle

The effete, elite liberals feel it is perfectly appropriate to lie to those who don't share their view of how the world should operate.  

By Blogger Ray, at Sat Mar 20, 11:19:00 AM:

When I worked for a federal agency, my response to diversity and contracting ethics training was to bring a novel (Lois Bujold - I would periodically have to smother laughter, drawing bizarre looks from the people near me until they saw what I was doing).

Now that I'm a graduate student, I don't bother to attend at all.  

By Blogger Delayna, at Sat Mar 20, 11:35:00 AM:

The utter blind incompetence of the diversity trainers is part of the problem -- a few years ago (this time of year), my husband got shunted into diversity training one Friday. Since he is a contractor, the company felt justified in having him attend during his lunch hour, with the promise that lunch would be provided afterward.

My husband took evil glee in informing the trainers that no, he couldn't eat the lunch provided, because it was meat, today was Friday, it was Lent, and he is Catholic.  

By Anonymous WLindsayWheeler, at Sat Mar 20, 11:35:00 AM:

Is not the motto of America "E Pluribus Unum"? It means "Out of Many---ONE". This is Masonic ideology. It is about reversing the Natural Order. It is about destroying race, taking all the races and melding them into "One race".

Plutarch said, "We are not in this world to give the laws but in order to OBEY the commands of the gods".

The Natural Order is based on "Ex Uno, Plures". Out of One---Many. Out of One Adam, came many men. Out of Abram, came many tribes of men, the Benjamites, the Jews, and the other ten tribes of Israel. Out of Hellen, the Dorians, the Ionians, the Achaens were born. Out of the Teuton Patriarch came the Franks, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Angles, and the Saxons. The whole of creation is based upon "Ex Uno, Plures".

Freemasonry which built this country's ideology is about reversing this law of the Natural Order. Marxism is the same when Karl Marx ended his Communist Manifesto with "All the workers of the world unite". This is why Bolshevism/communism are called "International Socialism"!!! This is why Mussolini and Adolf Hilter, who were EX communists/democratic socialists, created NATIONAL socialism.

According to Judeo Masonic Bolshevism, Nationalism is evil. Nationalism has to be destroyed. Diversity training, political correctness (the term being coined in Soviet Russia) is about deracination. It is about destroying the Natural Order! A true conservative defends and upholds the Old Order!

It is "Ex Uno---Plures". Americanism, and it is an "-ism" has been condemned in Catholic teaching. My allegiance, loyalty, fidelity is to the Old Order, to God and Nation.

You must answer the Census properly without lying or deceivement, "To speak the Truth at all times". Say your tribe and Nation. If you are German, say so. If you are an African, say so. There is no such thing as an "American". I am a Greek-American. I am a European living in the country of America.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 11:52:00 AM:

You're a looney.
-King Aurthur  

By Blogger Kirk Parker, at Sat Mar 20, 12:09:00 PM:

Anon,

I'm sure that Pournelle quoted that line more than once, but I'd be surprised if he didn't attribute it to its author: James Burnham.


WLindsayWheeler, thanks for clarifying that you're no countryman of mine.  

By Blogger Eric, at Sat Mar 20, 12:27:00 PM:

The proper answer to that 'race' question on the Census is of course: HUMAN.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 12:29:00 PM:

The true purpose of diversity training is to provide employment for all the various 'studies' majors.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 12:37:00 PM:

Like so many liberal concepts, "diversity is good" flies in the face of human nature. I very rarely meet or see a woman leader. Instead, it is how liberals WANT the world to work.

Granted, a diversity of cultural backgrounds can be an asset to a company IF they operate is a broad mix of cultures. But in general, human nature is to form groups of like-minded individuals lead by "a man of strong mind" (generally tall) with common cultural background and common behavioral expectations.

In place of Darwinian justice, we've substituted political fantasies.

One reason, seldom mentioned, is that the white, male CEOs who order these things up do NOT have their jobs or careers challenged by affirmative action - ie race/gender/culture discrimination against them. It is the underling white males who suffer, not them.

I would have thought that Tigerhawk would have been more honest with us, or at least more perceptive.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 12:44:00 PM:

I used to be a Peace Officer working for a state government, and like all of us was subjected to "Diversity" training. We learned:
1) White European culture was intrinsically evil, with the American variant being the worst.
2) Being Chinese, I learned that being part of a ethnic group that was not a PC protected class who advanced without benefit of Affirmative Action, I was a sellout and worse than those in #1.
3) It was a terrible thing to say, do, or think anything that might offend a co-worker of a designated Protected Class; deliberately or otherwise, in their presence or away from them. If you should happen to offend a Protected Class, the state will join the Protected Class in hammering you. Having the same expectations for performance was offensive.
4) Don't draw away from or obviously avoid conversations with Protected Classes to protect yourself from risk, because that would be excluding and offensive.

Incidentally, the staff weenie who taught the course belonged to an all white country club. For some reason, tension between the Protected Classes and others rose. Except for patrol partners, who already trusted each other with their lives; there was a period of wariness between line troops until the tension wore off.

Which I think was the goal.  

By Anonymous WLindsayWheeler, at Sat Mar 20, 12:47:00 PM:

It is funny that the basis of Western culture and Western Thought is Socrates, yet reading here, some are anti-socratic.

One of the first things Socrates would do is go to the definition of words. Words are meaning and in three of his dialogues, he mentions that "they should not wander". They should not like the statues of Dadealus---start walking away.

Funny, doesn't any body here know biology? Did we not all take a class in biology? What does biology entail? First---Classification! Yet, one poster here goes off the deep end, to wit: Answer "Human".

"Human" is not a "race". Socrates put forward this, "The Unexamined life is not worth living". Obviously, people put forward "opinions"---but not knowledge. Race, is a French borrow. It means "Breed". How the heck does Human, which in biology would be """"Genus"""" and not race.

The Census does NOT ask what "genus" you are; "I am of the genus Canus" or some such other of the Starfish family, or the genus Bovine. It asks about "Race"---and that means breed.

Clarity is a concomittant of Truth. Answering "Human" or Caucasion is neither.

All of Science is predicated on right DEFINITION, Clarity and Precision, but what I see here is anti-scientifical, the adoption of ideology and imprecision, and dissimulation, and obsurity---all anti-Western thought.

I thought Western culture was based on the Love of Accuracy (Plato's Republic)--or True Knowledge. Not on lies, deceit, imprecision. Can you operate a lab, or a courtroom, or manufacturing with lies, imprecision, and anti-scientific thought?

The Census asks for your Race. Tell the Truth. Truth requires precision and clarity and accuracy. "Human" is not the answer for "Race". For God punishes all Liars in a lake of fire.  

By Anonymous WLindsayWheeler, at Sat Mar 20, 12:50:00 PM:

It is funny that the basis of Western culture and Western Thought is Socrates, yet reading here, some are anti-socratic.

One of the first things Socrates would do is go to the definition of words. Words are meaning and in three of his dialogues, he mentions that "they should not wander". They should not like the statues of Dadealus---start walking away.

Funny, doesn't any body here know biology? Did we not all take a class in biology? What does biology entail? First---Classification! Yet, one poster here goes off the deep end, to wit: Answer "Human".

"Human" is not a "race". Socrates put forward this, "The Unexamined life is not worth living". Obviously, people put forward "opinions"---but not knowledge. Race, is a French borrow. It means "Breed". How the heck does Human, which in biology would be """"Genus"""" and not race.

The Census does NOT ask what "genus" you are; "I am of the genus Canus" or some such other of the Starfish family, or the genus Bovine. It asks about "Race"---and that means breed.

Clarity is a concomittant of Truth. Answering "Human" or Caucasion is neither.

All of Science is predicated on right DEFINITION, Clarity and Precision, but what I see here is anti-scientifical, the adoption of ideology and imprecision, and dissimulation, and obsurity---all anti-Western thought.

I thought Western culture was based on the Love of Accuracy (Plato's Republic)--or True Knowledge. Not on lies, deceit, imprecision. Can you operate a lab, or a courtroom, or manufacturing with lies, imprecision, and anti-scientific thought?

The Census asks for your Race. Tell the Truth. Truth requires precision and clarity and accuracy. "Human" is not the answer for "Race". For God punishes all Liars in a lake of fire.  

By Blogger Tim, at Sat Mar 20, 01:30:00 PM:

Wow, what a coincidence!

Just this morning I had looked up something on an old 2007 blog post (to see why Mark Shea was calling Victor Davis Hanson a "pagan war philosopher") and discovered this guy W. Lindsay Wheeler, who was rambling on about how the American and French revolutions are two peas in a pod, America is inherently nihilistic and condemned by the Catholic church, we're a Masonic conspiracy to undermine the Pope or whatever, etc. And I get the eerie sense he's in favor of monarchy.

And then just now, I come here and see the *same guy* [dude, what're the chances?!] running on about the same wild stuff! Cool.

Well, to all of that, my favorite president (Jefferson) and I say, "Phthblt!" :)

P.S: TigerHawk, great post. I hadn't heard this before. I'm in science and academia, heaven help me, and I see some of the more overt promotion of this stuff there. Even in astronomy, there's been a strong push in the group AURA (which operates the Hubble) to say that women are necessarily the victims of sex discrimination if they don't reach high management as often as men (even denying the idea that many women drop out of astronomy research to have children). And they've opened up a female-only research fellowship at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Joy.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Mar 20, 01:39:00 PM:

@Chris Chambers: Did you even read my post?  

By Blogger Fat Man, at Sat Mar 20, 02:47:00 PM:

"In any case, when asking whether anything "works," you also need to ask "in what respect"?"

And for whom?

In this case the Diversity trainers, who now have indoor jobs, with no heavy lifting, and no skills required.

There is no way to be too cynical.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Mar 20, 03:37:00 PM:

"Did you even read my post?"

Could be a mistaken assumption, TH. Chambers, you're not using your real name either, which is "Chrissy".  

By Blogger jaed, at Sat Mar 20, 04:01:00 PM:

Wel, I do own WLindsayWheeler one vote of thanks for clarifying the proper answer to the census question on race. It had been puzzling me, but this makes it clear:

"It asks about "Race"---and that means breed."

Which means the proper answer to that question is:

"Mutt".

And they say reading blog comments sections is useless.  

By Blogger Nate Whilk, at Sat Mar 20, 05:04:00 PM:

"If you tell a bunch of white men that they are taking these classes so that women and minorities will be more likely to take their jobs, they are not going to throw themselves in to the diversity training with gusto and might well subvert it."

What's more likely to bring about that change is for the white men to actually train women and minorities in their own jobs. That happens all the time, anyway, not just between white men and others. What's strange about that is, even when white men do that, it's not enough. They have to get their minds right, or something, or it doesn't count.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 05:46:00 PM:

I work for a multinational company that has this kind of idiocy. I was required to attend a course on "intercultural communications," taught by a mulatto female who had escaped Mauritius by marrying a white Norwegian.

She was happily telling us all about how bad and racist whites were. This was going on even while I had a Korean colleague bluntly state that "All Chinese are dirty and lazy."

The whole thing was a total waste of time and money, although I made it a point to bust this instructor's chops a few times by pointing out that if white society was so bad, it made no sense that she now chose to live in one instead of her Third World home country

They did give us an opportunity for feedback, however, and I said the course preparation and instruction made it quite clear the instructor was an anti-American, anti-white racist. I don't know what has happened to her since but I haven't seen that course offered in the last year.

I hope they threw her out on her racist butt. Just to verify what most of you already suspected, she was a grad of some "gender studies" course at a second-rate East Coast university.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Mar 20, 05:49:00 PM:

"Judeo Masonic Bolshevism"

Let me get this straight. The founding fathers were part of a "Judeo Masonic Bolshevik" plot? That must explain why I have such great admiration for them!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 06:30:00 PM:

"Diversity" is code for "discrimination."  

By Blogger Brian, at Sat Mar 20, 08:04:00 PM:

I sat through diversity training once. I now know that not all African-Americans eat fried chicken, that not all Puerto Ricans have 30 people living in their homes, and people that practice Islam are not all that icky and are just like you and me.

And you think I am being facetious.  

By Blogger John, at Sat Mar 20, 08:28:00 PM:

My firm is well over half women and minorities. Question. Does it count if almost none of them are Americans?  

By Blogger Bill Reeves, at Sat Mar 20, 09:08:00 PM:

Diversity is a self refuting concept. The notion of diversity is that different racial and gender groups 'think' differently. Now put that in slightly different (and oh so perjorative) language: "We need to admit Jews because their crafty, blacks because they sing and dance so well, mormons because they are always sober. An ideology committed to 'fighting stereotypes' rests upon the assumption that the stereotypes are in some fundamental (although not necessarily linear) way true.

And so the entire diversity industry disappears in a burst of logic.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 20, 09:34:00 PM:

"The promotion of more women and minorities might well be the happy dividend of these programs and it is an objective I support"

So all other things being equal, you support the promotion of fewer men and majorities?  

By Anonymous Diggs, at Sat Mar 20, 09:54:00 PM:

christopher chambers...Diggs is my real name. As for how minorities felt about working with/under/over me, you could ask any of my First Sergeants, who worked directly for me when I was a company commander. I'm not sure any of them would respond to a civilian shitbag such as yourself (someone who puts his keypad on the line instead of putting his life on the line to support ALL Americans like I and my First Sergeants have), but do give me a way for them to contact you, and I'll give it a try.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Mar 21, 11:41:00 AM:

If I were a corporate tool, I would enforce "Unity Training".

People go to "diversity" training because they are required to do so...just like OSHA training, EMTALA training, HIPPA training...and all of the other CRAP that we allow our government to introduce into our businesses.

We son't NEED "Re-education camps" in America...not when we have the Workplace.

Oh...Diggs...don't bother to respond to Chambers. The ass-clown just posts here to try to convince himself that he is clever. It ain't working.  

By Blogger Tigerhawk Teenager, at Sun Mar 21, 02:23:00 PM:

Chris, you're being silly.

Wheeler, you couldn't be more of a troll if you tried. I'm not even going to try to separate and refute the verbal diarrhea from the faux-intellectual thought. What I love especially is your focus on science, then telling people how God punishes liars in a lake of fire. LOL. A troll that's afraid of fire.

Tim, you can't win with him, either. It's hilariously frustrating, but that's what trolls do.

The anons talking about how accepting people from other cultures will lead to the end of Western civilization are *definitely* trolls.

*Trolls are people who spout something crazy to get people to be mad at them, mostly for fun, but the true troll does it to show the people he's trolling how silly and dogmatic they are. In this case, he's probably just doing it for fun.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Mar 21, 04:40:00 PM:

He looks at the world through a prism distorted by his preoccupation with race.

Most people outside of academia consider this silly, puerile and annoying.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Mon Mar 22, 02:37:00 AM:

At the university I used to work at there is a "cross cultural center" with a huge mural that has positive images of leaders from all races, except whites. The one Spaniard depicted is a Conquistador oppressing an Aztec. There are, of course, no images of Moors oppressing Spaniards. No one asks why this one sided distortion is tolerated because they all know the answer would be a lie anyway.  

By Anonymous WLindsayWheeler, at Mon Mar 22, 06:34:00 PM:

To Tigerhawk Teenager. I suggest you find the online edition of Father Seraphim Rose's Nihilism, The Root of Revolution in the Modern Age. It is all right there. The end result of nihilism is destruction.

Far from being a troll, and a faux intellectual, I'm a former US Marine that did six years active duty. I've been around the world and lived in Europe for 3 and half years. Can you say that?

I am also a published author on Classical Antiquity especially on the Dorians of Lacedaemonia. And I have written the only and true definition of a republic with over 100 footnotes. I am one of only two people that have defined what a true republic is and I have created a longer greater treatment of the subject. That all Americans are quite ignorant of this subject is plain. And you call me a "faux intellectual" and a troll.

The Definition is here: The Classical Definition of a Republic You'll find nothing of the sort in any so-called "political science" textbook. I dare say Tigerhawk Teenager---you can not compare or measure up to me or my learning. You are a little wet behind the ears, fellow, and you need to respect learned elders more.  

By Blogger randian, at Mon Mar 22, 07:08:00 PM:

I head a small commercial real estate lender. I have yet to find "diversity" to be of any relevance to my business. Of what possible use would having grown up in an inner city slum be to analyzing leases? How does having Spanish-speaking parents help assess the borrower's capacity to repay the loan? "Diversity" is a racialist scam.  

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