Filling a quota is not a good solution to underrepresentation
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Representation is important; I think we can all agree on that. However, the approach with which our society has tried to obtain this has been controversial. Some think forced diversity through quotas in hiring is the only way to achieve diversity and minority representation. On the other hand, others believe that it only panders to the “left-wing agenda,” or it reduces marginalized peoples to being just trophies.
While I can see how all these points are valid, I’m going to have to agree with the latter. Forced diversity is not true diversity because, as it says in the name, it’s forced. As important as it is to have fair and equal representation of all people, I don’t think giving people jobs on the basis of their background in an underrepresented group is the right way to go about it. People should be hired because they are the right fit for the job, not because some sort of inclusivity quota needs to be filled. To me, it seems counterproductive.
By making diversity forced, it seems to me that people are being hired because they meet the qualifications and are a member of whatever group the quota requires, not necessarily because they are the best candidate for the job. I think that hiring them under these terms makes them a trophy minority character, and isn’t that a bit prejudiced? Putting people on display as a front for diversity seems a little backwards.
Another example of forced diversity is gender quotas in a political workforce. I agree it sucks that there needs to be a quota at all, and this type of hiring is a solution that attempts to solve the problem, but I don’t think it’s the right solution. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to feel as though I was hired for a job only because they had to have a certain number of women—I would want it because I earned it and worked hard to get it. There needs to be equal opportunities for everyone to have a fair shot.
Proponents may say that this type of hiring is a great idea because more diverse representation means that other ideas and beliefs can be represented as well. However, hiring people of different backgrounds does not necessarily mean that there will be a difference in values and beliefs. Say a woman is hired to fill the gender quota and because they want to include a woman’s perspective. However, she doesn’t automatically have different ideas just because she is a woman. She may have the exact same ones as the men who were already on board, so there’s no guarantee of any real difference in beliefs just because someone fulfills some quota criteria.
Forced diversity may sound like a good idea at first, but it’s actually counterproductive when all is said and done. I believe that the only way to achieve true diversity is to not force it.