Diversity In Education?
My response to:
Millennials Dig Diversity
Published on December 9, 2016
By Kellye Whitney
Content Strategist | Journalist | Editor
Kellye Whitney stated, “I do not like stereotypes.”
Most people do not like being pigeon-holed! However, they can be informative, at times.
Kellye Whitney continued, “They’re simplistic and occasionally – maybe more than occasionally – stupid. And while there is some truth to them – in the same way people who share an astrological sign also share some personality traits – large group assumptions are so easy to disprove it’s ridiculous. There’s always one or two standouts in the group who are so fabulous. Then, if you’re reasonable, you have to question everything.”
Stereotypes are not absolutes. They are more or less rules of thumb. There are always exceptions to every rule. It is debatable if this non-absoluteness disqualifies it as a good idea.
Kellye Whitney continued, “For instance, popular generational comparisons posit that most millennials are entitled and lazy. It’s just not true. You know why the older generations are so quick to poo poo millennials ideas and work habits? Fear. Fear and faulty memories.”
I do not fear them. I have heard college professors say that millennials are entitled. They say that millennials attend class think that they deserve a good grade just for showing up and/or attempting an assignment.
They just don’t know any different. Many of us have excellent memories, especially long term memories, which many millennials have none of.
Kellye Whitney posited, “Gen X or Boomer leaders see all of that energy, that certainty not yet terribly shaken by life’s turbulence, and they forget that they were once like that. We forget that we too wanted information and opportunity sooner rather than later, and that we didn’t – we don’t – necessarily want to wait until someone else is ready to give it to us.”
I was never certain about anything. I was also not anxious about getting information. I was not expecting promotion at work. I was expecting to get a better job once I got more education at the age of 40.
Again, they live their lives online. They’ve led a sheltered life so far.
You use the one example (Kate below) and I feel justified in using my own experience as a counter example. By the way I have been a student in every decade since the 1960s, including the 2010s, mostly in college obviously.
Kellye Whitney stated, “Take my former direct report Kate, for instance. Tall, white, perennially cute with short, spiky brown hair and an excellent earring aesthetic, she’s upper middle class, funny, smart and one of the hardest workers I’ve met of any age. Girl is a rock star, and I miss her every day. She asked questions, yes, lots of them; but she was respectful, she always took the initiative, pitched in when our backs were to the deadline wall, never shirked a task – no matter how small – and she listened, very well.”
Asking a lot of questions is not necessarily good. Why did she ask so many questions? Did she not know her job?
Kellye Whitney wrote, “She saw the value in my old lady wisdom – my words, not hers – and she soaked it up like a sponge. She also skipped off to a better job after less than two years, and I wasn’t mad at her. It was an opportunity, and one should never turn one’s nose up at a great opportunity.”
Good for her.
Kellye Whitney stated, “You know what else? Millennials have much better attitudes about diversity and inclusion than other generations. This is my personal observation as well as the dominant message from some new research I was briefed on this week. The Institute for Public Relations partnered with Weber Shandwick to survey more than 1,000 U.S. adults this past August, then they analyzed the data to determine various perceptions about diversity and inclusion by generation. The result was Millennials@Work: Perspectives on Diversity & Inclusion, and one of the standout findings was that 47 percent of the millennials surveyed believe that diversity and inclusion is important criteria they actively look for in potential employers.”
Only 47% but it is not a majority. Actually a majority does not think it is important. I have got to wonder why people cite statistics as if they were good or proved anything, no matter what they actually said.
Diversity as you define it is absurd and superficial. Anything based on physical traits is bad. Anything based on race, for example, is racist. Anything based on sex is sexist. Quotas are just plain wrong! Would anyone want a job just because they are black or Asian or because they are qualified? We became the largest economy on Earth circa 1880, long before any so-called diversity.
It is also unethical. Diversity and quotas together are not achievable. Trying to have every job or situation populated by people according to their percentage of the US population that they represent. This is just so problematic. It is a case of aesthetics. It gives the appearance of fairness or ethicalness.
One of the tenants of a good ethical theory is “Practicability”. This is the ability to put it into practice or see if it is a practical idea. Any unachievable goal is unethical.
Diversity and its corollary inclusion is basically socialism. Millennials were coddled as K-12 kids. K-12 education hammered socialism (inclusion and diversity) into their heads, probably due the mass immigration that we’ve had since the 1960s. They need to unlearn it, which won’t be easy, if they can or will do it all.
Kellye Whitney stated, “Sarab Kochhar, director of research for the Institute for Public Relations, told me the idea that millennials are the least engaged of other generations, that they’re primarily seen as job hoppers, is faulty. Then she reiterated that D&I is an important factor in millennials’ job search. She didn’t say it explicitly, but I’m comfortable making a connection between those two pieces of information: Diversity and inclusion is important for working millennials. Maybe it’s so important, when they don’t get it on a job, they bounce.”
I tried to stay with Texas Instruments (TI) and I wanted to retire from there. I did stay with TI for almost 20 years but they did not see their way clear to keep me long enough to retire, even after I got more education.
The fact that the millennials have a job is not good enough for them—hence spoiled and entitled. This is actually a minor proof of what you are trying to discredit.
Kellye Whitney continued, “The survey data also showed only 44 percent of millennials agree that their employers do a good job communicating their diversity and inclusion goals. That’s not good. Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist for Weber Shandwick, said diversity and inclusion has to be mandated and discussed at the top to cascade throughout an organization. If it isn’t, and it’s important to you as an employee, that lack is a pretty good reason to leave a gig, no?”
Let me see. Only 47% think that D&I is important and 44% think that companies do a good enough job of telling them about their D&I. I would guess that these are some of the same people. Could it be that D&I is NOT important?
The kids should suck it up. They’ve got a job be happy! Jobs are hard to come by.
Kellye Whitney stated, “The survey also asked respondents to what extent do they hear or see any form of discrimination at work. Gaines-Ross said across the board the numbers were pretty high, but some 69 percent of employed millennials have seen or heard something related to discrimination at work; racial discrimination is a leading topic among millennials and Gen Xers. For Boomers it’s age discrimination.”
Discrimination based on ability is justified but not based on anything physical. In other words, the most qualified should get the job.
Kellye Whitney wrote, “Not only are they good at spotting it, according to the data, millennials are also more comfortable talking about workplace diversity and inclusion than other generations. I’ve seen that at play many times. Older adults are more likely to change the subject when D&I topics come up. They’re eager to defend themselves and are far more interested in reducing any semblance of taint than they are in listening.”
Who said that diversity was good or necessary? I know progressives but why? Most of us don’t think much of diversity as I have said already! It IS NOT the source of our success!!!!
Kellye Whitney stated, “Kate, for instance, is great at listening with the purpose of understanding, not waiting for her turn to talk. Even when I can see that what I’m saying is making her uncomfortable or confusing her, she doesn’t shy away from the discussion. She just listens and asks questions. That’s what we should all do when it comes to diversity and inclusion. There’s no shame in not knowing, only in refusing to learn.
Actually, one should know how to do the job, at least once trained for it. When I started my job with TI, right out of school, l was not even trained. I did not ask a lot of questions. I figured things out on my own. Self-reliance is apparently not a strength of millennials.
I’m not saying my former direct report is the poster child for millennials. Kate’s a special person, period. But she proves my point neatly: when it comes to generational stereotypes – any stereotypes – there’s an exception to every rule.
Yes, I said that up front. So you are saying she is the exception to the rule, which is what I said. But she is proof of nothing!