I was at a conference recently concerning the need to fill the energy workforce pipeline with a young and diverse workforce. It was interesting to see that in the engineering profession in Florida’s Energy Workforce, 75% of the females who went through the rigors and made it to an energy engineering position, left their positions within a short time. There wasn’t data to drill down to find out why they left, but it was the biggest take away for me. These people were groomed, invited into college level education for STEM, but once they went through the entire process, ended up leaving their engineering position.
As the conference leaders spoke on and on about having diversity in the industry, I started thinking about diversity and whether forced diversity strengthens or weakens a business. While listening to the talk, I googled diversity in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Guess what, the only diversity among collegiate and professional sports teams is at the coaching level. The NFL and NBA are made up of a strong majority of minorities. The NHL was largely Caucasian. MLB has a good mix. I started wondering if there is forced diversity in any arena where winning is the major driving force. The answer to that question is no.
I’m not against diversity in the workplace, I am against forced diversity. To be the best, hire the best. Whether that candidate is a woman, man, white, minority, whatever. I almost think interviewing should not allow the person being interviewed to be seen. Even voice altering devices should be used so the interviewer could have no bias, just select the best and brightest candidate for the position. This would allow for a naturally diverse workplace without weakening the environment.
In the conference, they were lauding how diversity strengthens the marketplace and my question in my head was, then why when winning is the goal, there is no forced diversity but only what happens naturally?
Just some mental pondering said out loud.