27.6.10

when the best person for the job is always a bloke...

...it's good to see this story.

although there are of course the usual cries of 'political correctness gone mad' going on. i do wonder sometimes why people don't think through why intentionally looking outside one's own little window might actually be a good idea.

recently virginia bottomley (not someone i would normally be quoting), said 'It's still work in progress – individuals are inclined to look in the mirror, and appoint in their image, rather than look through the window and recognise the diversity of the work environment.'

it's a common argument that those of us used to the idea of intentional diversity when it comes to jobs/speaking engagements etc, take for granted as a positive thing. but it is still the case that the majority of people see it as 'unfair'. most don't question the fact that when it's just a case of 'the best person for the job' then 'the best person for the job', nine times out of ten, appears to be a white bloke. rarely do people actually bother to ask the question 'why is that?', to wonder whether the structures and deep seated 'fear of other' that we all carry with us, has anything to do with the choices we make about just who is the best person for the job.

i am pleased that the Speaker made the point that people should look beyond the usual pool. but i also live for the day when the 'pool' becomes a place for all to swim in.

2 comments:

AnglicanBrowser said...

I don't think it's particularly affirming for the woman involved to know that she's been picked for non-meritocratic reasons! It just leads to a two-tier system - people who've got jobs justly (i.e. because they're the most qualified), and people who've got the jobs unjustly (i.e. because they tick a diversity quota). There's nothing wrong with a succession of white middle class men if they're good at what they do - can't we look beyond class, colour and gender?!

radical evangelical said...

well i guess for a start you would have to ask her for her own opinion on it - she may see it as very affirming that people have bothered to look beyond themselves to someone like her, or not, as you say.

you say 'can't we look beyond class, colour and gender?!' - well that's just my point!, most people do not, or cannot, or do not even bother to ask the question.

a succession of white middle class men to me actually suggests that people haven't done the work to look beyond class, colour and gender.

and when the best *person* for the job always turns out to be a white middle class bloke, it doesn't take much a of a leap to make the assumption that white middle class blokes are the best people for the job...or the best people, full stop....