Mercy Muroki: Appointing Diversity and Inclusion Advisers in the workplace 'isn't how you solve racism'
Do we really have to artificially engineer every aspect of the workplace?
I’m going to say what many people are thinking - we might, just might, have too many diversity and inclusion advisors in the workforce. And by might, I mean we definitely do.
Look, I’m a pro-opportunity, pro-meritocracy, pro-representation kind of girl – I want to see people of different ethnicities, and from working class backgrounds being included as much as possible in the workforce. But do we really have to artificially engineer every aspect of it? Do we really need to oversaturate every industry with diversity and inclusion roles across every pay band?
Take the NHS – that institution we keep getting told is strapped for cash and close to being crippled – well it has a whole range of diversity and inclusion roles, and the going rate isn’t bad at all. In fact, some of these chiefs make more than some actual doctors, certainly junior doctors.
So, some of you might be thinking – oh, well I might just quit my day job and jump on this diversity and inclusion bandwagon. Well, here are some roles you might consider - you can be Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Project Manager; an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion System Project Manager; an Assistant Director of Equality Diversity and Inclusion; a Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and an Organisational Development Manager for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. What do those things even mean?
Well here is just one job description - a Head of Diversity Inclusion is 'responsible for providing in-depth diversity and inclusion expertise and advice, ensuring that advice provided is positive, proactive and influential in its contribution.'
Look, I hate to use hyperbole but I think the diversity lobby is running a bit of a racket. Some diversity advisors are making a fortune, take Robin DiAngelo, author of best-selling book ‘White Fragility’ – which is effectively a diatribe against every white person to ever walk the earth - she’s estimated to make 728,000 dollars a year from speaking engagements, charging an average of 14,000 dollars a speech.
That’s right, for the bargain of only £10,000, you too can have a white lady with a Doctorate in Multicultural Education, lecture you about how you need to be ‘less white’.
No really – diversity training she gave to Coca-Cola a few months ago literally encouraged people to be less white. It’s all quite bizarre. That isn't how you solve racism.
Unsurprisingly, diversity and inclusion degrees have been popping up. You can now get a Master’s degree in Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality. Yes, I do think the diversity lobby is too big. But, to be honest, with the industry booming, diversity chiefs making big bucks, and companies scrambling to prove they’re definitely not racist, training to be a diversity officer might just be the smartest move someone looking to make a career move could make.