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How is it okay to have a female only event? I get we are trying to right past wrongs, but it's coming at my fucking expense if i am not female

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There is a reason why most white guys have an advantage over the rest of us.

As an immigrant Asian female, I didn't grow up playing golf or watching football. We didn't have a summer home, or go to the beach every summer. I don't know anything about high end wines or watches. I didn't grow up watching the same American TV shows and movies. That's why when most of my colleagues are talking about the super bowl, golf, or Sienfeld, it's hard to get into the conversation without asking someone to explain it to me every time.

There is no doubt that in this industry, promotion is not just based on merit, but also based on how many sponsors you have and your relationship with upper management (and clients for that matter). There is no doubt that the more things you have in common, the easier it is to build the relationship. I don't believe most people of upper management is racist/sexist, but it is generally easier to have relationships with people of similar background and similar interests.

That being said, of course I could go learn about golf and sports, rewatch the classic TV shows and movies, and of course I could still build meaningful relationships with my (mostly white male) superiors based on merit and other factors. But it is an extra hurdle most of us have to face, in addition to the language barriers and culture differences, not to mention I have no interest in learning golf or understanding football.

Diversity groups mostly encourage people to network with others with similar stories and background, and then find mentors/sponsors within. I agree with you OP that if two people are equally qualified, a woman shouldn't have a leg up over the other guy. But then again, many guys also get promoted and fail miserably because they weren't qualified and just had really good connections. You can't just look at one example and say it's the same across the board. Maybe get a sample of partners, and find out if the percentage of failing females is less than percentage of failing males, and then we can talk more.

As for A1's comments, your difficulty of dealing with depression/suicidal thoughts is not yours alone, and it certainly isn't limited to white males. You can start a group for people with depression, mental illness, disability, or whatever, and there would probably not be a lot of oppression. It's more finding a group with common problems (I can't think of too many that belong to the white male population atm) versus trying to single other people out.

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OP, thanks for clarifying where you’re coming from. You have valid conclusions given your assumptions. However, I disagree with your assumptions: Promotions are not a zero sum game. That’s why each year folks get promoted to partner, even though that also means existing partners have more people to share the pie with. But those partner promotions also mean more sales and value being added to the pie. Also, we’re all consultants and clients pay us not so they can give us their fixed slice of pie, but so we can generate more value for them. That’s what happens when you enable minorities to share their different perspectives and ways of thinking to the team, and the reason why they have such different perspectives is because our society views and as a result, treats various ethnicities and genders differently.
OP, if you had to choose which gender you wanted to be, which one and why? If you had to be a woman, what would that feel like? If you had to be any ethnicity in America, which would you be and why? Now take those positives, and look at the negatives? What are those downsides? Personally, I’m grateful /I’m/ not homosexual because it would make life a lot harder for me, which is why I respect those who are the more for it (but without being patronizing because they’re still valid human beings). These ERGs are to address professional “downsides” so that we can be prepared to react to the way that others treat us, as a result of society. It won’t cover all downsides, but most of them. Because our America society is historically championed by White men, white men currently receive preferential professional treatment and most downsides they experience are because they’re human beings, not because they’re white men.

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I can see you are pretty fired up OP. And I think there are a couple perspectives that may be worthwhile for you to consider for a moment, if you are willing. Consider that in many firms, 80-95% of senior leadership is male. Part of the psychological reason for this is people tend to favor/like people “just like me” when I was younger. Another is more junior members need mentors to succeed and having mentors they can relate to is part of success. Some diversity events are intended to help people navigate to the few senior leaders that are “like” them and can relate to common struggles they face from not being part of h majority. In order to get past unconscious bias, straight, civilian white dudes like me need to understand differences in communication that could cloud merit based discussions (and therefore should not be segregated out of those events.). The goal is not “take a less qualified person because of X” - that is discrimination. The goal is to provide access to mentorship and remove bias in the system.

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OP, theres a saying that you might get offended by, but i think you need to to hear:

-equality feels like oppression to those with lots of privilege.-

see, before this push for equity and diversity, women (and other minorities) were getting passed over because they werent part of the “good ol boys club” and now, that mentality is shifting. and i get that that can be scary for you. im sorry you see equality as threatening, but for those of us who have lived with constantly getting thought of as less than or different just because of the minority status we have that we can’t hide, diversity measures are necessary. people have biases, we cant help it. and anything we can do to ensure those biases dont make their way into the interview room is a good thing in my book

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Praying that the ignorance in this thread is actually just a bunch of trolls without enough work to do...

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Your whining is hilarious, OP. Are you really so insecure in your abilities that a group of women getting together to discuss their experiences and empower each other gets your so angry? Consider this - you and your male colleagues get that experience every week - at happy hours, office chatter, etc. because you comprise the majority in the office. We aren't meeting to scheme against you on how more women can unfairly get leadership positions. We are meeting to share advice, our stories, and network. You are not acting in line with EY's values right now and I'd encourage you to reconsider your mindset.

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We have female targeted events but I think they wouldn’t deny male attendees if you wanted to go. Likewise there are diversity events, LGBT events, military events, etc. but I think anyone who is a champion or supporter could join

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Whew - feeling pretty thankful for P2 and BCG2, i don’t think i have the energy for this today. Come on, OP! We don’t want to take anything away from you, we just want our chance to be fair. And frankly, when you look at the research, men will apply for jobs if they meet 4 out of 10 job requirements whereas women will usually only apply if they meet 9 of the job requirements. A lot of these events are just women encouraging other women - not trying to take over world dominance.

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So you'd be cool if there is a male only event focused on ensure males retain top positions that allowed females to attend?

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so minority focused groups are necessary, and yes, allies are welcome and appreciated but acknowledging that there is an equity issue within the firm by making space for specific minorities doesnt take away from the opportunities for the majority (usually straight, cisgender, white men here in the US), it just ensures that all people get to have a chance at opportunities and have a space to voice concerns specific to their minority issues

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Oh my god op, why is the base assumption always that she is Worse and only got it cause she’s a woman?!?!

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I disagree that equity should be the goal P2. What if it were true that 80% of men want to be senior executives and only 10% of women want to be senior executives? Should you really expect the same number of male and female executives?

Also - what’s wrong with not wanting to be an executive?

In my opinion, as long as every single person has the same opportunity to succeed agnostic of his/her gender, ethnicity, age, etc. then the system is just.

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PWC is right: you are welcome to go to these events if you want. I work on diversity a lot at BCG and find it flattering when others want to join in and support our mission

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OP - think about it this way. I’m assuming you’re a white male. Let’s say you worked for EY in China, where you are unsurprisingly surrounded by Asian colleagues. You are one of the few white people around, but the China firm values the diversity in thought that you bring to work, and want you to stay and progress in your career. Would you turn down the opportunity to join an ex-pat event to connect with the few other ex-pats at the firm who you may naturally have a stronger connection to? Who you rarely see / interact with in your day to day?

The rest of your Asian colleagues get the opportunity to connect and bond and network on a daily basis, but you may not naturally “fit in” in every situation. So, the opportunity to connect with other people you identify more similarly with would be appealing, no? And you would appreciate that the firm supports the ex pats by providing that avenue for you guys to connect and support each other?

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And in fact, I believe that equity is unjust in a world in which people are fundamentally unequal in ability and intelligence.

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SA1 - are you in a diversity group at your firm? I highly doubt you would say we would be better off without them if you were so maybe you should educate yourself further before making that assertion. Diversity groups help bring more diverse employees together so we feel included. For example, I’m on my 4th project at my firm and I’ve been the only female on all 4 projects. I am part of our women’s diversity group so i have the opportunity to meet other women at my firm that i wouldn’t necessarily be able to meet otherwise.

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OP- only real question here for you is whether you feel the current leadership makeup of the firm is entirely merit driven or not. If you believe the representation of leadership is a result of full merit and the system requires no change than there will not be a way to convince you otherwise. We can agree on need for merit based systems to get to leadership. I suspect we disagree on how fair existing systems are and the way to fix them. Everyone does better when they consider opposing points of view in a respectful way. My encouragement to you is to consider what it would feel like if no one like you ever seemed to be in a leadership role and how that would make you feel.

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Before all the mansplaining comments come in, what's the event for? Care to share some more context bruh?

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Chill out dude.

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OP is the type of guy who also gets butthurt over not having a white history month

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As a black female this whole thread makes my head hurt. To the white men out there who think it’s easy to navigate these companies when your colleagues get invitations to things or find mentors / sponsors frequently because “wow he really reminds me of myself when I was his age”........or “that partner just took a liking to me - I don’t know why!”......and don’t think that’s a clear advantage.....are all lying to yourselves.

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