CIOs, Affirmative Action, and Diversity

Company CIOs, Chief Information Officer inhabitants of the C-Suites, claim to be worried about the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling banning colleges’ and universities’ use of race as an admission criterion on their own access to a suitably “diversity”-laden work force.

By removing race from college admission considerations, the pool of tech talent entering the workforce may not only be less diverse, it could also be smaller if underrepresented minorities don’t see the field as a welcoming or viable option, those executives say.

No, rather than looking to plus up their virtue credentials, these executives should be more worried about (prospective) employees’ ability to do the job than about whether their departments have the “correct” balance of skin colors and sexes.

There is this from Juniper Networks‘ CIO:

“I worry about, in universities, if we’re not making it a more hospitable environment, that we make it harder than it is,” said Sharon Mandell…. That means companies and IT leaders need to work to convince diverse workers that technology is “a compelling place, and a welcome place for them.”

That hints at a good start (but only hints); however, by beginning at the college/university level, it renders itself too late to be an effective start. Of course, I’m also, probably naively, assuming a benign definition of “hospitable.”

Hence my question: if these CIOs and their companies are serious, and not just virtue-signaling, what are they doing to improve K-12 education and the resulting better preparation for all students? If all students get an equal opportunity at a quality education, the resulting population of job applicants—whatever the job—will pretty much automatically have a requisite diversity, artificial as that criterion is.

Unless, of course, these CIOs (they wouldn’t be alone in this regard) actually think some groups of humans are intrinsically inferior in ability to other groups of humans and so those lesser groups need special handling and protection.

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