{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My SM told me that I have to be conscious of racial diversity when selecting a candidate for my project team. It seemed like they were very very careful with their language. Does this mean I have to pick a URM? My project is already majority URM, so wouldn’t adding another URM make it less racially diverse?", "post_id": "5f1b407e5c9e7c002a1deded", "reply_count": 218, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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My SM told me that I have to be conscious of racial diversity when selecting a candidate for my project team. It seemed like they were very very careful with their language. Does this mean I have to pick a URM? My project is already majority URM, so wouldn’t adding another URM make it less racially diverse?

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I think what’s being missed is that you believe you would be selecting a person ONLY because of their race. For the sake of the example I am going to propose, I’m going to ignore race initially, and let’s go with the assumption that you have to pick a C (I’m assuming you are a M or lower). Let’s also assume that all C’s that Deloitte hires have been hired with the assumption that they have the baseline skill set required to be hired for the job. So now, let’s say there are 3 Cs that are available. You know 2 of them, they came in to the firm knowing people and they have been staffed before, some even on work relevant to your project. Then there is 1 who has been trying hard to get staffed; he too wants to be one of the people picked early and often for projects, but needs someone to give him a chance. If you went to your SM and said hey I want to staff this C, and give him a chance, we all have to start somewhere and this would help us have more ppl that have XYZ experience. Would you consider that unethical? Esp if the SM said sure? As an M, part of our roles are to develop and coach others. Would taking on someone without the exact experience maybe be a bit more work for you? Sure. But if the BEST candidate also becomes limiting because people continually staff the same people if they can (race aside) it’s not really benefitting the firm in the long run. So now let’s decide that 1 consultant is also a URM, is it now unethical? Props not. But you are now giving yourself the chance to further your managing skills, grow the pool of people that are experienced, and being more diverse perspectives to the table.

likesmart

I just have to note, to call the action of doing something for the sake of diversity racist is nonsensical. Striving for racial diversity (ie not all white people in this instance) cannot be racist. Racism is the act discrimination/prejudice based on the belief that ones own race is superior. Equity, esp if all of these other races do not individually constitute as the majority race at the firm, should not be misconstrued as racism.

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On the surface, it’s great that we’re finding ways to challenge unconsciously-biased decision making. But, these kinds of “policies”, whether written or not, are just that. Surface level solutions. Let’s all take a step back and think for a moment about our desired outcomes, not just about the eggshells we’re walking on. We have to think about how we work better together, not replacing an entire group. If asked, I don’t think most URM would say they’re fighting for the elimination of white people from all positions of influence and/or leadership. But, are we asking ourselves what the desired outcome is for the workplace? Or are we just fighting for any and all reparations regardless of method? The workplace actions like this are senseless and short sided. We’re not helping our people step into reconciliation and understanding of each other. We’re pulling a rug over the problem and covering it up with population statistics. If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking with me. The last thing I’ll share is personal anecdote: I’m a white male (seemingly the most hated type of person on the planet these days). Okay, I’m still engaging and trying to be a part of progress / a solution. I’ll willingly take the verbal bullets if it helps us move toward complete inclusion. I truly want opportunity for everyone and a society that encourages each other. In my 10 years in the work force, I’ve been passed over for promotion and/or new jobs no fewer than 4 times, with the only feedback being, “you’re more than qualified and you nailed the interview, I just can’t take a white male right now”. In my confusion about what to do with that, I move on. Society telling me I’m not allowed to feel upset by this. But I have to believe our approach to balancing opportunities in the workplace is short sided and just going to backfire with more issues down the road. That’s not reconciliation. That’s not inclusion. Again, what is our desired outcome? Let’s start there... and then think deeply about strategies to best get there.

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Thanks CM1. Your experience is not fair. I’ll just say this, you were told you could not be promoted / get the job because they couldn’t take a white male but who is to say that is the truth. That may be the perspective of the person who told you but you really don’t know what the hiring board or the promotion board took into account when making that decision as a whole. If that truly was the issue and you were told that though you can prove you were the most qualified you should take legal action. With that said, URMs are told that ALL the time in the form of you are not a fit culturally. Lastly though these solutions feel surface level solutions I’ll take it. Until the law said you have to hire “others” “others” were not hired. Mad Men is a perfect depiction of what the board rooms looked like before the law said you have to expand your recruiting pool. At the end of the day without these policies, you wouldn’t see a brown face or female face in many of these positions so I’ll take it. Where I will agree is that the policies alone are not enough. We can build on top of them while we continue to be intentional in hiring and promoting URMs.

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Step 1: Pull up a chat with SM
Step 2: Type "hey - had a clarification question for you, can we chat quick?"
Step 3: Verbally discuss with SM

likesmart

Yes- "Hi, I want to make sure I'm paying attention to the appropriate factors. Can you give me some insight into what you were thinking of in regards to the team structure?"
The way I read it, they want you to be *aware* of racial diversity. Without awareness, many majority people can tend to hire within the majority alone (NOT always consciously, that's just what humans do). Having the awareness simply makes you more likely to notice if you're bringing on, say, all white males.

likesmart

Just make it look like a college flyer, 1 black, 1 asian and 1 white person. Bonus points if you have one LBGTQ.

likefunny

Wow. As a person of color you come across to me as a person, who is more willing to pass over someone as talented and hard working as myself for one of your "Bros" , whom you've worked with in the past, even if it means that he can't be of any value to your project.

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The world has gone insane. Best experienced, qualified, strategic fit should get the job. If the client is so hung up on race diversity then sure pick the race balance they want even though that makes the client racist. If the client wants the best experience then pick without thought of race and only pick on the basis of experience/skillset.

likefunnysmart

P1 how are you not able to figure out differences in candidates outside of race? There are so many factors to consider that never result in equal candidates. Never. Sounds like racist tendencies on your part when that factor over shadows others for you. I can appreciate how diversity can be used as a competitive advantage with some clients and am not dismissing that but that does not make it right either.

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I think it’s refreshing that your SM reminded you to take diversity into perspective. It’s time to make more conscious decisions staffing our teams. I’ve been at Deloitte for 5.5 years, I never had the opportunity to work with black or Latino practitioners. Once I became M, I made it my objective to have a racially and gender diverse team. You mentioned your team is majority URM, so a good balance can be a race outside of that (given they have the right skills and fit). I always consider skills and fit first, before anything else.

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Reading this thread...Whatever. Folks can stay mad. I’m sure it’s the two black people getting an opportunity is why all these other people aren’t getting staffed, promoted, into college, etc... give me a break.

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I honestly feel like people choose not to understand. You don't have to agree but why can't you see that there is logic to this? The same people who say "suck it up, life isn't fair" are the people who don't experience these issues and tbh don't give a crap because of that.

likesmart

A3 explain what you mean by "equal"? Do you mean equal outcome? Equal outcome does not always equal fair outcomes. We don't have equal population numbers so outcomes on that simple fact alone say equal outcomes would not be fair. Once again what is your fear over fair?

Whew the racists are uncomfortable lol. Somehow we all agree consulting, a majority white industry, is full of inflated, non value added folks BUT Black folks (because let’s be honest that’s who this is targeted at) are getting an unfair advantage. Make it make sense.

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M5 why are you so uncomfortable with things just simply being fair? How can advantages for specific races only be fair?

You can always tell when it's a white person typing something on here. How can adding an UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY make a project less diverse. Some of ya'll really need to just be racist with your chest instead of dancing around it

likeuplifting

M4, your deflection game is A1!

Choose somebody with the skillset and availability to do the job. Bonus points if their fully-loaded cost is low.

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OP you sound like you've never had to prioritize more than one thing before. What even are you asking. Obviously choosing someone qualified is important... if they aren't they shouldn't be in the pool. There are qualified URM's and you're making it sounds as if there aren't. That's what problematic.

likesmart

I work at K and I’ve heard this too from senior partners. “Don’t show up to the client site with a bunch of white men”. Aka staff with some URM. I’ve also been on project where a black female was the lead and wouldn’t you know, 4 black females, 1 Indian, and 1 Hispanic.

Unfortunately, you’ll see this happen more and more.

likefunny

K1 racism/discrimination isn’t and shouldn’t be a political issue. We should all be anti racism.

Pick the best person for the job.

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Meritocracy works. Unfortunately, the left is pushing hard to move society to Intersectionalism.

likefunny

Do not jump to the conclusion that "be conscious of racial diversity" means "pick a URM". If the team is already mostly URM as you state, that could mean to pick a white person. And simply being asked to consider something doesn't necessarily mean to change course. The interpretation is on you, not the SM or your company. Clarify if needed.

Tip: share the current makeup of your team, as the SM may not know or may have forgotten.

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Right. Chooses so many stereotypes and forgets the best one, Karen....

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what is a URM?

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Why not just Google an unfamiliar term smh

I'd go back to the sm, take a knee and acknowledge your privilege.

funnylike

White people are twisting their minds in KNOTS in this thread trying to comprehend why diversity makes sense. Soooo amusing.

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A5 I hope your client delivery isn’t as sloppy as your post.

And believe me - I’m fully aware about the way Hispanics LOVE whiteness

likeuplifting

OP it seems like you are being conscious of racial diversity just by assessing the composition of your team. It probably matters who you’re considering as URMs. The point is both to be aware of diversity and to create the best team possible. Unfortunately our industry often doesn’t even consider candidates who are URMs, whether black, female, LGBTQ, or others, which means we are missing out on some really talented potential team members.

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No, if your project is already majority URM then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

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W1 really good points. This topic is much broader than one team or one manager. It is also about educating new managers about this subject to build awareness and skills.

Maybe they are saying the opposite. Find someone who is not an URM.

likefunny

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer -

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


http://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964

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PSA: Don't feed the trolls

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