{ "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" }
null

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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Sounds like a bunch of lawsuits waiting to happen

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I mean probably the opposite. You just said that it was majority of one race. Do what it takes to mix it up

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Pretty sure that was not the interpretation they were going for even though you’re right.

likehelpful

If URMs are the majority, they are no longer URMs on your project.

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As a gay man I find myself questioning representation all the time... in 3.5 years in the career, I’ve only worked with another LGBT person once, for a 6 week engagement. Statistically that makes sense. It would be quite improbable for team of 2-5 to have more than one person from my minority.

I do feel less included in terms of expressing my identity at work... but it would also feel weird to have a “gay dream team” that I work with day in and day out, because then I would have limited perspective.

It seems a question of applying representation equity at a macro (firm) vs micro (project) level... and I guess I err on the macro side.

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The real question is what does “racial diversity” mean to SM? If their goal was a more racially diverse team, that would mean choosing a candidate that would increase racial diversity on the team. Unfortunately, I’ve heard many use the term carelessly and incorrectly, resulting in non-diverse teams that are somehow ”racially diverse.”

They should just staff candidates with the best people irrespective of race...

URM?

what does URM stand for?

Under represented minority

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