It often seems likes social justice warriors believe diversity is just skin deep and that anything below superficial features is completely irrelevant. All that matters is what boxes get checked.
Yet recently, Apple’s vice president of diversity made a startling statement that many here would agree with completely:
Denise Young Smith, Apple’s new vice president of diversity and inclusion, doesn’t believe being a minority or a woman are the only criteria for diversity, Quartz reports.
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” Young Smith said on-stage at the recent One Young World Summit, held in Bogotá, Colombia.
Young Smith had been working as Apple’s VP of human resources since 1997 before moving to her new role earlier this May. The new position will involve overseeing Apple’s push to create a more diverse workplace.
Young Smith believes true diversity goes further than skin color and sex. The hypothetical room of a dozen white men also incorporates diverse personal histories, which Young Smith said she is quick to embrace.
“Diversity is the human experience,” she said. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a diverse group for whatever task you are setting about to accomplish. The problem comes when you fail to understand that diversity goes beyond the skin tone of an individual. Diversity of appearance is one thing, but diversity of thought and experience also matters.
It’s wonderful to see someone in charge of diversity at a company like Apple acknowledge this. In fact, I hope the “me too-ism” that infects the business world will let this idea take hold and permeate out into the rest of the world. Particularly at colleges, where so many seem intent on stamping out any opinions that don’t toe the progressive line. My hope is that someone can explain to them that looking diverse isn’t the same as actually being diverse.
The prime question then becomes whether the social justice jihadis will ever comprehend that.