Monday, March 24, 2014

What exactly is the benefit of gender diversity?

A simple question.

What are the benefits of gender diversity in a given organization, such that they override whatever benefits there are of gender exclusivity?

It's not as if I don't have opinions on this, but I figured I'd straight up ask this and see what happens.

16 comments:

Acatus Bensley said...

I can name one. People getting fed up with the LGBT community and them losing what little support they have.

Mr. Arson said...

The obvious benefit would be that men and women generally tend to have different strengths and ways of thinking. Then, if you have a group that contains both genders, it can approach a problem from both different perspectives, and may be able to more easily use whatever strategy is actually most effective. Whether this benefit would override the benefits of gender exclusivity is by now means clear, however. I think it's also interesting to note that, at least in my experience, the people who push hardest for gender diversity also tend to be the same people who deny that there are any genuine differences between the genders. But if there's no difference, you also wouldn't get this benefit.

Crude said...

The obvious benefit would be that men and women generally tend to have different strengths and ways of thinking. Then, if you have a group that contains both genders, it can approach a problem from both different perspectives, and may be able to more easily use whatever strategy is actually most effective.

See, this is the one answer I get a lot, but it strikes me as tremendously weak. I bet a voodoo witch doctor has one hell of a different perspective from most physicists. Would a witch doctor be an asset to a physic's lab?

I think it's also interesting to note that, at least in my experience, the people who push hardest for gender diversity also tend to be the same people who deny that there are any genuine differences between the genders.

I was about to say the same, actually.

Cale B.T. said...

@ Acatus Bensley

You forgot the I and Q in the alphabet soup acronym!

Check your privilege.

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Syllabus said...

What are the benefits of gender diversity in a given organization, such that they override whatever benefits there are of gender exclusivity?

This is going to be entirely contingent upon what the organization in question does. Which, I guess, vitiates against the idea that it's just plain good in the general case.

Crude said...

Syllabus,

I can't help but notice that gender diversity certainly doesn't seem to be treated as an asset among the leadership of feminist organizations, for one thing.

Syllabus said...

I can't help but notice that gender diversity certainly doesn't seem to be treated as an asset among the leadership of feminist organizations, for one thing.

Well, that's obviously because their white male privilege makes their opinions worthless. It's totally different.

A more general answer: it strikes me that diversity (WRT stuff in general, beyond just gender) can be useful in certain settings but not in others.

For instance, a marketing firm might be quite intelligent to have a diverse selection of people, since they're going to have unique viewpoints and backgrounds which can help tailour their designs, advertisements, and so on to people who share those backgrounds. In that sense, it strikes me as perfectly reasonable to have diversity, if the diversity is actually going to make the company turn a higher profit.

On a basketball team, though, having more short people, gay people, white people, whatever, is either going to be completely neutral or detrimental to the goal of the basketball team - namely, to win as many games as possible. You're going to want the best, most talented people at the sport, and diversity be hanged. And forget gender diversity - the best team in the WNBA would get smoked by a mid-level NBA team, any day of the week. That's just empirically demonstrable.

Basically, it's something that has to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Syllabus said...

(That first paragraph is sarcastic, BTW. My /sarc got eaten.

Acatus Bensley said...

Actually according to them there's a difference between gender and sex. Gender is what you feel you are where as sex is what you actually are. What the hell is gender diversity anyway? Men considering themselves women and using female restrooms. I don't really understand.

Crude said...

Acatus,

For these purposes I was purely wondering about diversity in terms of male-female, not getting into the whole gay/lesbian thing.

Syllabus,

I agree that superficially 'diversity' seems useful in those specific situations. Of course the plea for diversity goes way beyond that, and it never seems to even be questioned. Which is why I want to question it, even if it's among people on this blog who tend to be more like-minded.

Acatus Bensley said...

Are you referring to diversity that basically breeds comments like this "there aren't enough women in science"

Crude said...

Acatus,

Yes. 'There's not enough women in science', 'there's not enough women in this company', etc.

Acatus Bensley said...

I honestly don't think even it's proponents see any benefit other to make women feel good for nothing. As long as they don't start trying to implement unqualified people into fields of science or any job for that matter then this gender diversity isn't an immediate threat in my opinion.

Crude said...

Acatus,

For me, it's partly a concern because I see this talk about 'We need more diversity!' for, say... the Catholic priesthood. This is one of the main selling points for that, and - beyond all of its other problems - I always end up asking, what in the world is the benefit?

Acatus Bensley said...

There isn't any. Just political correctness.

msgrx said...

Not sure if you’ve already seen this essay, but it’s well worth a look if not:

http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/03/the-unified-field-theory-of-madness/

In sum, the root of leftist idiocy is their belief that we are all irredeemably tainted by our racial, social and gender background, to a degree that it’s impossible for us to make any objective and impartial judgements about the world. Thus when we judge some actions as moral and others as immoral, that’s not a judgement about objective right and wrong (not even a false judgement), but rather a sign of our own bigotry and judgementalism. This also applies for ostensibly morally-neutral judgements about cause and effect: so, for example, the judgement that “Strong protection for property rights encourages hard work and hence prosperity, whereas ignoring these rights discourages work and leads to poverty” is also a sign of bigotry. Because of this we cannot say that some behaviour is more likely to lead to success than other behaviour; hence life is to be viewed as a roulette wheel, with results being determined by random chance. If a person or society does well, that is a sign of undeserved good luck; if a person or society consistently does well, that is a sign that they’re somehow underhandedly manipulating the outcomes, benefitting themselves at the expense of less fortunate groups, who similarly cannot be to blame for their own misfortune. Therefore it is our duty to try and rectify the injustice by always supporting the underdog, with the result that (for example) large sections of the left blame George Bush and Tony Blair for the death toll in Iraq, whilst simultaneously excusing or even lauding the Islamist “resistance” fighters who are actually responsible for the vast majority of casualties. This also applies to less tangible successes such as the attainment of glory or reputation: hence the leftist’s desire to “expose” people generally considered heroic or saintly, and to exalt or excuse people who were traditionally seen as base or vicious. Once laid out in plain terms, this worldview is clearly ridiculous and immoral, and the amount of self-deception required to hold it generates immense mental strain, which is usually covered over by a constant affectation of posturing self-righteousness. Finally, the leftist cannot attempt to convert people by rational argument, since that is ruled out ex hypothesi as a tool of bigotry and intolerance; instead, he must rely on appeals to emotion (“Just look at these happy gay couples! You don’t want to make them sad, do you?”), strawmen (“:o How could you evil conservatives want to pass laws about who I can love?”) and threats, either social (“In fifty years’ time people will think of you like we think of segregationists today, and then nobody will want to associate with you”) or legal (“Bake me this cake or I’m taking you to court!”).

Anyway, that was a long summary, but in my defence it’s a long essay. It is also a very illuminating essay, though, and one which is definitely worth the time it takes to read.