Diversity more than buzz word
Noun: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially the different types of people such as people of different races or cultures in a group or organisation.
A definition is all very good but when it comes to applying that definition the problems arise and acceptance can depend totally on the persons affected by any decision.
Part of the question that arises is when and where do we ensure that there is diversity. Should it be based on the percentage of persons involved and if so, how does equality arise in making such a decision?
Let us look at the workforce for a “hypothetical business”.
With an owner, a CEO, a board of directors numbering seven, three managers, and a workforce of 88, how does the company go about ensuring diversity? If the community it is based in has 55 per cent purple folks, 25 per cent green folks, 15 per cent blue folks and 5 per cent orange folks then should the board of directors and the workforce reflect those percentages? And of those folks should their genders be considered and their religious beliefs also? If there are 50 per cent of Gender A, 35 per cent of Gender B, 13 per cent of Gender C, and 2 per cent of Gender D in the community, how does that become reflected in the work force of the company.
And age — let us not discriminate there, and if, of the full community 65 per cent are of one religion, how does the employer balance that with the different coloured folks in the workforce — and with the ages — and with the gender? These are the type of situations, however hypothetical, being discussed in all aspects of society nowadays.
The buzz words are definitely diversity and equality and, for the moment, at least in North America political correctness is a term not being tossed around, though it is inherent in all discussions.
DIVERSITY IN HOLLYWOOD
According to Andrea Mandell, journalist for USA Today, the need for diversity and equality are no further along than they were 10 years ago in terms of including women and underrepresented groups such as people of colour, the LGBT community or people with disabilities, despite all the activism and conversation.
A study combing though the past decade’s top-grossing films found that out of 48,757 characters in 1100 films from 2007 to 2017, just 30 per cent were filled with speaking roles filled by women while in the top 100 movies of 2017 only 29.3 per cent of characters were from underrepresented racial-ethnic groups and 2.5 per cent were characters with disabilities. The study also found behind the camera out of 1100 films examined just four had black or African-American female directors, three had Asian female directors and only one had a Latina director.
INEQUALITY IN SPORTS
A few years ago some of the National Football players began demonstrating against social injustice, racial inequality and systematic oppression. Colin Kaepernick, who was quarterback for the San Francisco team, knelt during the American national anthem and then other players across the gridiron league began kneeling and locking arms to support the protest.
The result has been that the football league has made a pariah of Kaepernick as while he is a top quarter-back he has been denied the opportunity to play the game.
To be anti-the-flag is to be anti-American is the interpretation of the football league and the ‘big’ guy in Washington.
The US flag is raised at every sporting event from a kindergarten swim meet where the crowd and swimmers face the flag and sing the national anthem through to the professional leagues of every sport.
So to use it as a form of protest gets most propagandised Americans very upset.
Kaepernick is following the path of such social warriors as Muhammad Ali — who was stripped of his heavyweight title and barred from the ring for three years and Tommie Smith and John Carlos who defiantly stood with their fists in the air on the medal podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
The latest step in the protest movement — Kaepernick is suing the football league for denying him the right to play and for the owners coercing to keep him out of the game.
While protests still continue at football games and the football league is under pressure from the ‘big guy’ to throw such protesters off the team the problem, as shown by one team was “one player goes, we all go!”
It may turn out to be a watershed moment for those who suffer from racial inequality and discrimination and the general lack of diversity across the Ewe Ess.
Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the US national anthem at an American football game in protest at black people being shot by white police officers.