Diversity Manager, go away!

Diversity is one of the biggest priorities in my company. It is a challenge to create a team with individuals whose qualities compliment each other. Nothing makes me happier than seeing one team member instinctively looking left while the other looks to the right, so together they come up with the full picture.

Like most people, I need some time and all my senses to assess personal traits. Is this person shy, tough, persistent, flexible, decisive, wait-and-see, intuitive, rational or something else? It takes time and effort to find people and forge a team. Because diversity is so important to me, I have noticed that the word pops up more, like a fashion fad, while the concept is forgotten.

It is a shame how ‘diversity’ is getting reduced. From a living thing that defines my teams and make them work so well together, to a straitjacket. A lifeless template that you have to fit in with your business or organization. En when you dare to be different, they send in the Diversity Manager. This person claims that your staff lacks diversity, securing his own pay check in the process.

I am repulsed by this.

Because this way, reducing people to their gender or background is becoming a profitable business. Before you know it, the make up of your staff doesn’t measure up to some template. Without even talking to you it is asserted that you have a diversity-problem. My main objection is that this ‘template thinking’ with it’s quotas of people from different backgrounds and groups does not encourage anyone to use their all senses to really see people for who they are. On the contrary, it leads to the senseless filling of quotas to fit some ‘ideal’ picture. Absurd!

Of course culture, background and color are part of who you are and how you see the world. Also, when you look to build teams with maximum diversity, you’ll end up with people from various backgrounds. But that does not mean that two people who grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same school and have the same diploma, cannot be diverse. Their character and behavior can differ like day and night. For me, looking for that diversity means keeping my eyes open an keep feeling.

So please call off the Diversity Manager.