In attempting to develop an understanding of the meaning of the concept of ‘diversity’, it is arguable to suggest that the best place to begin is by attempting an answer of the following 3 core philosophical questions: “Who am I?”, “Where am I going”?, “What does existence mean?”
Attempts to answer these questions can be traced back to a number of known philosophical thinkers: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine, Rene Descartes, Immanuel Kant, John Locke, Martin Heidegger, Tielhard de Chardin, John Paul Sartre, etc – all of whom dominated the ancient, medieval and contemporary and modern philosophical periods.
But what was the common denominator running through the varied arguments each thinker posed? Arguably, I suggest it was attempting an understanding of the meaning of ‘existence’: What was it? What did it mean? Indeed, how am I connected to it?
I remember when studying philosophy at university, I was particularly interested in the theories of ‘identity’. The existentialist philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre took my particular fancy. Continue reading
The focus of our past discussions on this site has been all about attempting to explore what diversity is…
An ancient Greek school of philosophical thought suggested that the best way to discover what a thing is, is to proceed by a process of logical elimination, stating what the thing in question is not, in an attempt to truly find out what it is – hence our approach adopted below in trying to understand what diversity is…
Diversity is not…
- about race
- about the ‘symptoms’ of equality otherwise called ‘the 7 strands’ (race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment), etc
- about being compliant or meeting set equality targets
- about equal representation
- about ‘minorities’ or a ‘majority/ minority divide’
- about recruiting untalented, unskilled or unqualified people into an organisation to balance workforce databases
- about being tokenistic
- about doing a ‘favour’
- about doing a ‘good deed’ as part of an organisational Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy
- a ‘bolt-on’ to add ‘value’ to business strategy or organisational process
- about discrimination
- even about positive action
- about businesses becoming diverse – diversity creates businesses!
….so what is diversity actually about??
This is a question for you to continue to think about as we start the week… indeed, do let us know your thoughts regarding it.
NB: Watch out for a forthcoming article entitled “On: A Philosophy of Diversity” where we will take a look at the concept of diversity purely from a philosophical perspective the aim being to begin attempting to unravel an answer to the question posed above…
Let’s begin with a clarification of terms: ‘Diversity agenda’? What does that mean? This article is not about pointing the ‘castigating finger’ at Test Publishers. Nor is it about attempting to juxtapose the ‘diversity agenda’ over-against the ‘agenda’ of Test Publishers as though they were in fact distinct agenda’s. If diversity is fundamentally about the effective management of all people, regardless of background, then the ‘diversity agenda’ alluded to in our topic above, is in fact at the very heart of Test Publishers agenda – whether this is understood or not. Continue reading