The Value of Diversity

Recently an ex-Google recruiter sued Google for wrongful termination due to his complaints about hiring practices he claimed were discriminatory against white and Asian men.

Many of us have been in positions where hiring for diversity has been a focus. There might be a temptation to say that this is discriminatory. "We're passing up more qualified candidates for diverse ones!"

But diversity is about more than skin color or gender -- it's also about the different ideas and points of view that come from different life experiences. These are real qualifications. Their value-add is hard to quantify, but that doesn't mean the value isn't there.

Finding these people is not easy. We have to be willing to go outside our normal networks. And even once we find and hire these people we have to work hard to overcome biases and give them an equal place in our team, both in pay and in voice.

Hiring managers can fix the pay gap. Offer people what they're worth, even if that means countering with a higher offer.

Voice is harder -- make sure credit is attributed correctly for all team members. Watch for interruptions from other team members. Make sure everyone is heard.

Hiring and keeping diverse people is hard work but it's worth it.

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