The breathless headline from social networking site LinkedIn’s article read: “The big problem tech is ignoring”.
That major issue: Cybersecurity? Digital transformation? The impact of robotics and artificial intelligence? None of the above.
Instead, LinkedIn believes the big problem that tech’s ignoring is that just 5 percent of investors rated diversity as their top concern.
While I personally don’t care to work in an environment where employees are allowed to be mistreated, particularly regarding anything as arbitrary as race, gender or sexual orientation, I also don’t want to throw in my lot with a company that isn’t focused on executing a well-conceived business plan.
A business that ultimately closes its doors because it fails to remain a viable concern does no one any favors – not its customers, not its shareholders and certainly not its employees, no matter how “diverse” its workforce might be.
What many social justice warriors seem unable to comprehend is that diversity is a neutral attribute.
One could recruit 100 individuals from, say, the jails of Los Angeles County and come up with an extremely diverse group of individuals. However, in terms of performance, they would almost certainly lag far behind a similar number of all-white, all-male graduates of Brigham Young University or a comparable number of all-black, all-female graduates of Xavier University.
In and of itself, diversity is neither a positive nor a negative.
The key to success lies in bringing in quality people, which is dependent on ability and character, not in filling artificially determined demographic requirements.
Companies that mistreat employees, whether it be through discrimination, tolerating hostile conditions or failing to create nurturing environments, will lose workers as personnel leave for workplaces that offer a more supportive – and productive – atmosphere.
Businesses unable or unwilling to embrace change could find themselves embroiled in legal action, facing bad press and eventually tarnished with an irreparable reputation as being home to an inhospitable workplace. They will reap what they have sown.
But the top goals of any private company should be ensuring, within legal and ethical means, profit and continuation. A business exists to provide products and/or services. A successful business does so while turning a profit.
Any business that prioritizes social experimentation over survival isn’t one to which I want to trust my career or my money.