Hidden Agendas When It Comes to a Definition of Diversity

Last week, I wrote TheLink about Alison Beard’s HBR article regarding a new assessment tool that looked at the biology behind different types of personality styles.  I was interested in the new method of looking at the characteristics of team members.  Then I read a New York Times Op-Ed (linked below) by Bari A. Williams, and was surprised to learn that an approach like Beard’s can be used by industries like tech to “re-set” the definition of diversity to alter criteria to include white men with different cognitive styles.  This odd definition was actually stated by a vice president of diversity at Apple, Denise Young Smith, and went on to cause an uproar on the internet.  Ms. Smith went on to correct herself: “Understanding that diversity includes women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and all underrepresented minorities.”

But, author Bari Williams adds that her concern is that this new concept of “cognitive diversity” is catching on in the tech industry.  Google calls this new definition: “viewpoint diversity.” Little did I realize, before reading Williams’ Op-Ed, that Beard’s work can now help open the door and pave the road for industries to ignore the situation of marginalized people. Beard’s research seemed so avant-garde. I was mistaken.

What do you think?  What is your definition of diversity and inclusion?


Enjoy the day.



Diversity is Not in Your Head By Bari A. Williams

New York Times, Op-Ed, October 17, 2017


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