Embracing Inequality

Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

From the Slope of Hope: This is one of those posts that has nothing to do with trading, the "markets", charting, or anything else related to our efforts to claw a few dollars out of financial instruments. It's one of those posts that may alienate some readers, deepen the commitment of others, and merely annoy some in the middle. But I have to get it off my chest, and it's about the "diversity report" from Google that has been getting so much press this week.

In short, the tumult is centered around the fact that the breakdown of Google's very well-paid employees with respect to gender and ethnicity don't line up to the same breakdowns for the human race in general. Google employees were swift to chime in with their politically-correct huzzahs:

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So I'd like to say to this entire group, in my best George Carlin voice..........fuuuuuuuuuuuuck you!

Now, do I say this because I yearn to be in a world where high-quality tech jobs are specifically 0530-genderrelegated to young white or Asian males? Hell, no! If a black, lesbian, transgendered differently-abled senior citizen starts the next company that dethrones Facebook, I say, God Bless America and more power to them! I am all about meritocracy.

Indeed, I think the whole "bro" thing is disgusting. Arrogant young white males can be some of the biggest, most obnoxious dickheads on the planet, as this recent news offering about Snapchat's founder quite clearly shows.

0530-raceBut what bugs me about this is twofold: first, the notion that any organization should be comprised of exactly, or even roughly, the same proportionate subgroups that make up the human race (with respect to any property, be it religion, race, age, or what have you) is utterly offensive to me. That is far more racist, ageist, or anything-else-ist that may have been reflected in the Google report.

The second thing that irks me is the entire "Gosh, we sure have a lot of work left to do, but gosh darn it, let's make it happen!" attitude reflected in the comments above. Anyone with any sense who runs a group wants the best person for the job. Mr. Rothfuss, above, implies that since there are only 23% women on his team (in contrast with the 50% of females here on Earth) he still has a "long way to go". Why? Do you seriously think you need to have a 50/50 split to provide the best group for your organization? Give me a break!

And it isn't that Google isn't already lacking in politically-correct organizations within its culture. Allow me to present this offering to you, directly from their web site:

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Personally, if I were running the Gayglers, I think "I'm Feeling Lucky" would be a pretty awesome club slogan. But I digress.

Am I a racist? Am I am bigot? Yes, I am. I absolutely make snap judgments about people based on their gender, their age, and their ethnic background. If by chance I am aware of their religion, I'll have a bias based on that as well. What makes me a freak is that I admit it. And what gives me comfort is that, as the captain at the helm of my one-person juggernaut, I can actually speak honestly without having to report to HR to explain myself.

But the thing is, pre-judging doesn't mean the final judgment. When I ran Prophet, and I was looking for a person to fill a job, I definitely had a type of person in mind. If a 60 year old black woman showed up for an engineering job (which, ummm, never happened), I'd certainly look at her resume and hear her out, even if my pre-judgment was that there's just no way this person would be right for the post.

But the thing is, if she had the skills, I couldn't care less about her age, her color, or any other superficial properties. She could be a green hermaphrodite, for all I care. I just want great work! I'm not rounding up members for a revived Ku Klux Klan. I just want great product!

The cold fact of the matter is that certain people tend to be right for certain jobs. The fact that are a lot of young, strong black men in the NFL isn't an issue. The fact that a lot of women are nurses isn't an issue. The fact that a disproportionate number of Jews are in finance isn't an issue. I'm terribly sorry to ruin your party, folks, but these are the facts, this is the truth, and it's honestly, truly, OK.

I know what it's like to be excluded. I know what it's like to be left out. Most of us have been there at one time or another. And I don't want that for anyone. I think denying someone an opportunity based on anything other than their skills is immoral. And equally immoral is actively seeking out and hiring the "disadvantaged" or "under-represented" simply to meet some kind of quota or corporate goal. It's an injustice to any other candidates that are better-qualified for the task at hand.

I'll close by saying this: I'm not a big fan of hypocrisy either. And since Google seems to be donning its halo and noting how, Obama-style, We Can Do Better, I just thought I'd leave this offering of articles to show how progressive and fair-minded Google is with respect to women. Because their leadership certainly seems to like them. A lot.

Google Boss Enjoys $15 Mil Manhattan Sex Penthouse

Google Chief Still Creeping on Models (And Recording Them!)

How Google's Top Couple Turned into a Tangled-Up Cheating Foursome

Meet the Google Founder's Mistress

The Many Women of Eric Schmidt's Instagram