A company dominated by men hiring women from similar racial and socioeconomic backgrounds is not diversity in a meaningful sense.
Maybe it’s all the recent data about the sad state of equitable pay and glass ceilings. Or the millions of women leaning in without a sea change in senior-level representation. Or the waves of thinly disguised to blatant sexism that surfaced during the recent presidential election. Or the fact many of us are women ourselves.
More likely, it’s a combination of many things that contribute to the workplace diversity zeitgeistbeing focused primarily on achieving gender parity.
The problem is when diversity programs focus on “women” as a whole, they often fall into the trap of prioritizing the majority: White women. This is an issue I know intimately well, having been tasked with designing diversity programs for leading tech companies that go beyond “just (white) women.”
Take me, for instance. I’m not only female but also Latina and queer, both of which color my experience and the obstacles I’ve faced in the workplace. To make progress for all women, we need to acknowledge that women are also black, senior, immigrants, LGBT and so forth — and often many other things at once. Each of these identities faces unique biases and challenges that must be accounted for if we want to get closer to true gender parity. After all, a company dominated by men hiring women from similar racial and socioeconomic backgrounds is not diversity in a meaningful sense, it’s one small step away from homogeneity. Fighting for all women is even more important now, with outright discrimination increasing rapidly after the election.