IS DIVERSITY A PREFERENCE OR A VALUE ADDED? II.
By Allan Colman, the Closers Group, www.closersgroup.com
A SURPRISE EXAMPLE - Recently, I was genuinely surprised by a most well respected Associate General Counsel of a global corporation. This lawyer was huffing and puffing because his colleague at a competitor company had received an accolade from the local newspaper praising her as one of the tope in-house counsel in the region. The award itself as well as the press coverage focused in large measure on her outstanding record in recruiting women and minorities, and on her efforts to incentivize outside counsel to likewise excel.
At bottom, my AGC's hostile reaction was driven by his perception that diversity in and of itself is a spurious professional standard for companies like his own as well as for the professional firms he hires. I do not believe this guy is a sexist or a racist. Instead, he seems to be a familiarly conservative opponent of what he perceives to be preferences in any shape, size or variety.
Next column will discuss the flaw in his thinking.