Re: Bah humbug... celebrating diversity
"Unfortunately human nature gets in the way, EVERYONE in the world is prejudiced.
While your ideal listed above is nice, reality is a different story."
Was that a reply to me (the one who wrote Bah humbug) or Mr. Lively?
If to me, I don't disagree that people tend to be innately prejudiced... but what I outlined *is* what we should strive for in the workplace... and not for any fluffy bunny feel good reason either.
If we allow our prejudices to dictate who we pick for a job (or promote, or give a raise to), and we pick less qualified and less effective people because (in the negative) they *are not* a minority/handicapped/polysexual/whatever... or (in the positive) they *are* a minority/handicapped/etc, you are screwing yourself. In the workplace you should celebrate and reward effectiveness and results, otherwise you risk losing your best performers if they do not fall under your arbitrary ethnic/religious/whatever lines.
Furthermore, I would argue that by making anything other than performance and effectiveness a criteria by which people are judged, you will tend to exacerbate people's innate tendency towards prejudice... which will result in people of different groups working together less well, less effectively, less efficiently, etc.
I had a management professor in college who said "[You know why most companies are not racist/prejudiced anymore don't you? It's because they cant afford to be. They can't afford to promote and reward less effective people just because they are white/straight/whatever]". 15 years later, you can argue that this is/isn't really the case on a % basis... and arbitrary and unproductive favoritism absolutely exists in business... sure. That said, I don't think you can argue with him that as a leader (I have, give or take, 50 people that report to me in various capacities) one should strive towards celebrating and rewarding employees based on how good of a job they do... not because of arbitrary criteria that has nothing to do with their job performance.