A Google employee, James Damore, internally distributed a memo, reprinted by Gizmodo* to widespread (if inch-deep) horror. The memo controversially takes apart Google’s efforts to increase its number of female employees.
Per the memo, it is surely unjust to discriminate against members of some groups in the cause of opposing alleged discrimination against members of other groups.**
But Damore (who has now been fired for his temerity) undermines this case. In the opening gambit we hear a note of appeasement: “I value diversity and inclusion. . . .”
Sounds harmless. Yet . . .
I don’t know about you, but when hiring somebody to do a job, I don’t rationally pursue “diversity and inclusion” in addition to the goal of hiring someone skillful, punctual, cooperative, bottom-line-enhancing. Not if I’m free to use my best judgment. I’d only also consider impacts on “diversity and inclusion” to avoid suffering politically-induced legal costs if I don’t.
The memo has other problems, but surely we can all agree: discriminating against members of particular groups is an unjust way to enhance workforce “diversity” . . . even if racial-sexual-age-height-width “diversity” were a legitimate goal for a company with the purpose of selling technology.
I’ve argued elsewhere against affirmative action in universities. Quotas based on group characteristics are always unjust when the qualifications for achieving a reasonable purpose have nothing to do with those group characteristics. That’s true whether we’re talking about students or workers, and whether the persons being sacrificed to serve “diversity” are white, black or Asian, male or female, gay or straight.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Conveniently, Gizmodo neglected to include Damore’s extensive links to research that backed up his points, or his killer graph — even in its update.
** It is also far from self-evident that the disproportionately high number of male technology workers finds its root cause in sexual discrimination.