Thursday, January 29, 2015

The necessity of precise terms dealing in diversity

A wonderful article on terms in the neurodiversity sector, makes me wonder if similar terms could be useful in corporate diversity initiatives. A single individual cannot be diverse. They can be divergent from a norm, but not diverse. You need a group of people for diversity, more than one, likely more than two, depending on the minority you're trying to reach. I keep harping on how "Corporation X doesn't need more physical diversity, we need more neurodiversity". I hope the link above in this article explains a little by what I mean about that. But I think that there is some significant overlap between the two. A kid who has to drop out of high school to work to feed their family in the inner city may easily have as much engineering talent as the person whose family was able to support them through to a PhD; and the kid who due to autism was unable to talk until age 25 and who barely squeaked through school with a 2.0 GPA, may have hidden skills and talents that will give us the next great leap along Moore's law. This to me counts for far more than what color a person's skin is or what gender they are. Note how I avoided any sort of physically descriptive language in the above- this is not just PC, it's making a point of how we should recruit a more diverse workforce- entirely blind of the physical attributes, or lack thereof. High Tech runs on brains, not brawn. On intellect, not beauty. And it is not a person's looks that the next innovation will come from.

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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