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Accounting for diversity: 'No such thing as unconscious bias'

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In the diversity panel on Day One of AccountingWEB Live Expo, Silverfin's Lola Oguntokun assured the crowd that discriminatory bias in recruitment is very much a conscious decision.

1st Dec 2021
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Oguntokun was joined by panellists Zoe Whitman, Makbul Patel, Ben Steele and Heather Townsend in today’s diversity talk, dubbed by Townsend as “the most diverse panel” she’d ever sat on.

“I don’t believe in unconscious bias,” she told the audience. “I think it’s a conscious decision - it’s a nice way to not take responsibility. I have some conscious biases too.”

To really get over our biases in the workplace, Oguntokun explained that we need to talk about the bigger issue of predominantly white, male faces taking the leading roles within the accounting world.

Are diversity targets a good thing?

To combat this issue, many businesses and firms have introduced diversity targets in recent years to fulfil quotas of including a variety of ethnicities, sexualities, and genders within their teams.

Some have claimed this method is counterproductive, as rather than fulfilling the goal of creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce it merely encourages profiling and judgement based on these personal factors - people might still be employed based on the colour of their skin rather than their qualifications or work ethic.

Townsend, however, can see the benefit in using quotas: “I want to be there on my own merit,” she explained today. “I don’t want to be the token female in a group of men. But it’s not about letting the weak candidate in - it’s about expanding our minds.

“If we want to have role models, we need initiatives to support that. As long as it’s backed up by social mobility, and we are improving inclusivity, we are working towards that.”

Steele offered up an alternative approach of stripping all prospective employee CVs of every detail identifying their personal information, leaving only the factors relevant to the job. 

This is what his firm has been doing in their recruitment process. “It shouldn’t be a tick box situation,” he argued.

Is accountancy a diverse industry?

“We walk into a room and it’s men in suits,” said Townsend this afternoon. “All too often the challenges of studying plus holding down a job and family responsibilities tend to fall to the female gender.”

These fundamental issues have unfortunately created an industry that is non inclusive at the top, she said. To combat this, we need a greater variety of people of all genders, sexualties, and ethnicities in leadership roles.

Patel added that even in his company with such a diverse range of employees, those in leadership positions still do predominantly fall into the white male category.

“I’m sick and tired of getting an email that someone has been promoted or they’re moving onto a bigger and better role, and it’s a white person, a male person, a person who’s able-bodied - a person who fits in with the clique of the organisation,” he said.

He went on to explain that despite this, accountancy has a quality that other industries don’t have - you are able to take the tools you have into other firms or practices in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to so easily in other industries.

“We just need to support people in this day and age to be confident enough to think no role is unavailable for them,” Patel said.

“We’ve got to see the person, not the colour of their skin or their background or whether they celebrate Hanukkah or Diwali or Eid,” said Townsend.

In the Accountant’s Millionaires Club, she has clients who have been the victim of racial slurs and acts such as having dog poo posted through their letterbox, and asked the audience is it any wonder we have a confidence issue with prospective BAME candidates in the profession.

Recruiting in the Gen Z era

Recruitment in general has been hard enough in recent years, with the pandemic acting as a catalyst to the Gen Z nature of the fresh young accountant candidate: “The marketplace is fussy,” said Townsend. “Candidates have an exact view of how they want to work. If your firm doesn’t fit that, they’re not interested.”

Remote working has caused people to reflect on the way they want to work, with the freedom and flexibility to do so. People want to be able to pick up their kids from school, or bring their dog to the office if they need to, or take some time to focus on their mental wellbeing.

This goes hand in hand with today’s increasing infiltration of technology in the workplace - candidates are able to review exactly what it’s like to work for a firm with a simple Google search.

They can have a peek at pictures of the office and read comments left by ex-employees on the company culture. People can decide whether or not a place is absolutely right for them in a way that would have been impossible 10 years ago.

These are the needs of a new way of working, and it’s caused a major backlog in the recruitment process within the profession.

“Recruitment is the opposite to what it was six years ago,” said Steele. “These days you’re recruiting for four or five weeks trying to find the right person. Where have all the accountants gone?”

“It’s a different level now,” added Townsend. “Someone going for a new job might have three or four firms they could choose between.”

“Post-pandemic, people are questioning the concept of work overall,” commented Oguntokun. “People are asking themselves, how do I want to spend my time? Employers have to do things differently to make people think it’s going to be worth their time.”

“You have to be agile enough to change your job spec,” said Patel. “You can’t say these are our rules and that’s it. In the younger generation, information flows so quickly. It’s important that firms are broad minded and open.”

Starting them young

Oguntokun recommended taking different approaches in your fight against the recrutiment crunch and diversity gap by going into schools and tapping into the young minds there that might not even know what accountancy is.

“Go to schools in particular areas and talk about what you do. Even if none of them end up going into accounting, it’s still a good deed,” she said.

With 70% of people that join firms being graduates from university, role models are important, added Townsend. “How do we bring in the entreprenurial youth?” she asked.

People aren’t just looking to the profession for money anymore. It goes back to the increasing desire for a strong and supportive company culture that is emerging, explained Ohuntokun.

If you’re spending the majority of your time with the people in your workplace, you want to get along with them, she said. “Would you go somewhere outside of work with them? Would you spend your free time with them? Make your decisions based on that.”

Replies (38)

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By creamdelacream
01st Dec 2021 18:44

If we start looking at everyone through the lens of race and gender we will create more division not reduce division. These kinds of articles do more damage than good. There is nothing stopping women or minorities from progressing if they are good, evil white men are not stopping them. Meritocracies work and those who make hiring decisions based on 'inclusivity' weaken their firms.

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Replying to creamdelacream:
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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 07:03

So if the board/leadership team is disproportionately white & male, that is simply because they are 'better' (ie more 'good') than everyone else? Hmmm...

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By creamdelacream
07th Dec 2021 11:59

It could be that the company is in a particularly white area or it could be they were the best people for the job. The area I live in for example is around 98% white, does that mean because the company owners are white that there is discrimination at play? My company is also 80% female, does that mean men are being discriminated against in our company? Of course not. If you're hyper aware of this stuff you see discrimination where it doesn't exist. Of course, if you do have a racist team only taking on white males then that would be unlawful and should be addressed, just as it should be if the board were only taking on black females for the same reason.

Can I also point out that skin colour or gender doesn't mean diversity. You could have a range of skin colours in a board but if they all grew up in the same place it's not diverse is it? You could also have an all white board whereby the people grew up in different parts of the world and that would be diverse, so this narrative isn't always that simple. As they say Nuance is the new 'N' word.

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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 13:13

this is not about you personally. And on a case by case basis you maybe as equitably minded as anyone.

But if you are saying that black/brown people, people with disabilities, women, gay people are treated equally in society as a whole, then I have some news for you...

If you agree there is a problem (and as you notice, there are inequalities in lots of dimensions), and you, as an employer, leader, maybe a parent, are in a position to do something about it, why not try it?

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By creamdelacream
07th Dec 2021 14:46

If you do not believe boardrooms look like they do because of the demographics of an area, the demographics of the applicants and the best person for the job being hired then you must believe that white males are excluding women and minorities from board rooms because of their identity. Having lived in the UK most of my life, and having travelled all over it and having been in many boardrooms I can tell you it's quite the opposite. The UK is extremely tolerant and equal when it comes to our society (despite the narrative being pushed). A recent study has shown the UK to be the most tolerant society in Europe and the recent government report showed the country is not institutionally racist. In fact the lowest achievers in our schools are now white working class males, meaning they will be disadvantaged later. However, I don't see many articles written about that, do you? No matter what your identity is, in the UK if you're good at what you do and you work hard you can progress, that's just a fact.
WRT sexuality (or even disability), how would an employer even know if someone was gay, or fluid or whatever else? It's not the business of an employer to ask or base any kind of decision on.

I am not saying the UK doesn't have racists in it, I am saying they are few and far between. And, if you have a boardroom of mainly while males who only want to hire white males despite better candidates being presented to them, then they will suffer the consequences of not acquiring the best talent they could of. Their competitors will scoop them up instead.

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By Tax Dragon
07th Dec 2021 16:10

creamdelacream wrote:

If you do not believe boardrooms look like they do because of the demographics of an area, the demographics of the applicants and the best person for the job being hired then you must believe that white males are excluding women and minorities from board rooms because of their identity.

Are those things mutually exclusive? Eg in what part of the country do men outnumber women two-to-one? I think it's undeniable that women face additional (ie that men don't) challenges for no reason other than that they are women. And, btw, arriving at the top doesn't put an end to it.

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By creamdelacream
07th Dec 2021 16:45

My point is that most businesses are run as a meritocracy because they are interested in results. WRT women, do you really think they are genuinely being held back by men in the boardroom? Or could it be other reasons such as they have children or generally are not interested in the responsibilities at the top. I don't buy this oppressor/oppressed narrative, if you want it you can achieve it with work. White men aren't stopping anyone, so let's stop vilifying a section of our society based on their identity.

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By Tax Dragon
07th Dec 2021 17:20

A genuine meritocracy takes no account of who knows whom; and yes I do think a 'jobs for the boys' mentality exists - consciously or not.

It may well be different in small business where people work for themselves. But where reward is as remuneration, not profit or dividend, where there's a (mental/emotional) divide between the success of the company and the pay of the individual (where it's effectively someone else's money you're paying yourself) - then merit may sometimes take second place to genome [or whether you went to Eton etc], as regards who gets the job. Not every time, obviously; but anytime it does happen undermines your meritocracy argument - and can skew the stats.

Even if the overlooked candidate is a male, it's not right. And once you have moved outside the meritocracy, you have opened the door to isms.

Stats may help expose the isms, which is why eg government looks at the stats.

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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 17:16

creamdelacream wrote:
No matter what your identity is, in the UK if you're good at what you do and you work hard you can progress, that's just a fact.

This is true. But it is demonstrably easier to progress further and faster if you are white, male, middle-class background, able bodied etc.

It's not (just) about a few 'bad apples' determinedly discriminating against people they don't like (though they exist) or (just) about people not having been aware of the impact of their often thoughtless actions (though that happens a lot too); it's the cumulative effect of those and the systems/structures set up by people who don't face those challenges (often well meaning, but still) that prevent everyone reaching their potential

And if everyone can reach their potential, we have a richer (literally and metaphorically) and happier society. Win:win.

(and no one is vilifying white men as a class. we are all human)

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By creamdelacream
07th Dec 2021 17:48

Actually, I would argue the counter. If you're female or a minority you have an easier time progressing than a white male because so many companies and institutions have these quotas now.

I agree with you that if everyone can reach their potential it's win, win, but I think that doesn't have a great deal to do with ID in the UK, the place in which you live within the UK is a much bigger factor. Try going around Glasgow, Newcastle or Liverpool telling people about their white privilege, you will quite literally be laughed at.

I've heard the systems/structure argument before but never with an example. Perhaps you can share an example of a system/structure that relates to accounting which as been setup which discriminates women and minorities?

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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 18:55

creamdelacream wrote:

Actually, I would argue the counter. If you're female or a minority you have an easier time progressing than a white male because so many companies and institutions have these quotas now.

...

I've heard the systems/structure argument before but never with an example. Perhaps you can share an example of a system/structure that relates to accounting which as been setup which discriminates women and minorities?

1. You are welcome to argue it, please can you offer any evidence?

2. Here's one of many to support my point: across the board, candidates from minority backgrounds are much less likely to be selected for interview than the exact same application from a white applicant http://csi.nuff.ox.ac.uk/?p=1299

(oh and 'in spite of relatively strong laws prohibiting discrimination on ethnic, racial and religious grounds, the level of discrimination is higher in Britain than in the other four countries')

So it looks like the meritocracy you describe is not in full effect.

This is a good read that covers the profession https://www.icaew.com/-/media/corporate/files/technical/research-and-aca...

Agree that in lots of areas, it is hard to see a 'privilege'. But for all those people, being white just means people have one less problem to face than their black/brown peers. It doesn't mean they have it easy.

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By creamdelacream
07th Dec 2021 19:41

Here is the government report on racial and ethnic disparities: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-report-of-the-commission-...

Report on the neglected white working class: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/203/education-committee/news/...

Study to show UK one of the most tolerant societies in Europe: https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2019/most-brexiteers-welcome-forei...

My whole point is that if we see each other as an identity and force companies to make hiring decisions based on identity (special treatment) you are creating division in our society not unity. You are essentially saying they are different and less or more than another group. It's regressive, not progressive.

Our society has always gotten more equal over time but that trend seems to have started to reverse now and I believe it's partly down to these new narratives and political ideologies. You just have to look around at the attacks on free speech and the growing separation between "left" and "right" to see something is very wrong, and getting worse.

Hiring someone based on the colour of their skin is pretty much the definition of racism and you're not going to convince me (and I hope others) to make decisions on that basis.

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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 20:19

1. Have you actually read the govt report: Here's one datum: "Unemployment rates for the 16 to 24 group are high even for those from Indian and Chinese ethnic groups who comfortably outperform the White average in education and incomes overall and generally benefit from positive stereotypes"

2. I agree more should be done to increase social mobility and opportunity for people from working class/low income/FSM backgrounds.

3. As Dave said 'you should be grateful we're the least racist. I say the least racist is still racist' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXLS2IzZSdg

4. No one forces companies to hire anyone, let alone 'based on the colour of their skin'. We know that diverse teams (diverse in all directions) perform better (https://hbr.org/2016/11/why-diverse-teams-are-smarter) because they bring more viewpoints to scrutinise decisions.

But is it still very common for people to think (often unintentionally) that 'merit' resides remarkably often in people who look/think/talk/behave/grew up like us. We have to scrutinise ourselves and actively try to learn from people with different experiences

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By creamdelacream
07th Dec 2021 21:00

1. That is one extract from a very long report, I can play the same trick with "The idea that all ethnic minority people suffer a common fate and a shared disadvantage is an anachronism"

2. My point is the most disadvantaged group in our country are young white working class males but these types of articles never mention it as it's outside of the woke narrative.

3. We're not racist. There is small minority in the country that are racist (the least of most countries), that does not make our country racist. This narrative is simply false and we should celebrate how tolerant we are, not beat ourselves up for being something we're not.

4. I am glad you agree diversity is of viewpoint and opinion and not colour of skin. So why are the media so obsessed with conflating the two? Companies are not forced yet but quotas are coming and they already have pressures which are not far from quotas right now. Articles like this are very common.

I strongly disagree with your last comment. In our industry for example, it's not difficult to distinguish the good from bad, it's not subjective based on an identity, you're with accounts/tax or you're not, you're qualified or you're not, you're good with clients or you're not.

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Replying to creamdelacream:
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By WhichTyler
07th Dec 2021 21:30

I am getting a bit tired of this, but I hope you will bear with me one more time (and while I am tired of it I can at least walk away from the keyboard when I want; black and brown people can't evade the endless tiresome racism, ditto disabled people)

It is possible for people to be disadvantaged in any number of ways; there is an attainment gap between black children on FSM compared to better off black children, and black and white FSM attainment is not that different. Narrowing the gap for all on FSM would help everyone. So what do you think could be done to help this?

If 'we are not racist' how do you explain the job application data I referenced earlier?

Diversity of experience informs diversity of view point doesn't it, so why exclude experience of racism from the conversation? And when 'articles like this' were not common, no one thought there was a problem, so no one was trying to do anything about it. And we have agreed that it would be better if society was more equal, so talking and thinking about how to achieve this may be challenging, but is helpful and necessary

There are some technical abilities we can test for in this business, but do remember that to get to that point, the candidate has to have done well at school (see the FSM point), have the resources to get qualified (no student loans for that), got an interview (see the CV point) and convinced you they will be 'good with clients' (see the ICAEW report about assuming shared cultural references and habits), and will work all the hours it takes (hard with disabilities or childcare responsibilities). And they have to want to work for a firm that is predominantly run by white men...

This goes back to my point that if you think black/brown/women/gay/people with disabilities are treated equally in society, or that the accountancy profession is not part of society, I think you are wrong, and there is plenty of evidence of this

Here's a suggestion (and apologies if you have already done this); ask the 80% of your firm who are women what their experience of sexual harassment or discrimination has been in their career. I don't think it will be the same as yours...

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By Tax Dragon
08th Dec 2021 01:50

It's an informed and informative discussion (with a bit of silly logic thrown in*). Thank you both.

* One example: it was pointed out that white male predominance in business in certain areas is explained by the demography of the area. But no account was taken of demography in commenting on predominance of white poverty in certain areas. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think business in eg Glasgow is run by a few black millionaires. Your comment - being white in parts of Glasgow might not be easy but it's one less hurdle - is spot on.

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By WhichTyler
08th Dec 2021 05:59

Thanks, credit to John Amaechi for that... "What is white privilege? - BBC Bitesize" https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zrvkbqt

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By creamdelacream
08th Dec 2021 11:56

The problem that the organisations and people that push this agenda are going to face when telling us that we are a racist country is that is doesn't reconcile with the experience we all have of living here. To say that there are a minority of racists so we have a racist country is flawed logic. In your example about sexual harassment towards women, by the same logic you would call us a country of rapists and we know that is not the case.

If society strays from the 'we should all be treated equally' ethos then we're going to find ourselves going backwards. There are all kinds of things happening now as a result of this agenda and I believe we'll see things get a lot worse before they get better. I've actually been shocked how quickly this has infiltrated our institutions and if we don't push back we could be in real trouble.

Here are a few highlights of what has been happening recently:

https://senioronboarding.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/blog-dear-white-people...

https://www.ft.com/content/9504baa4-5cf9-40b5-87b5-04d24f19f2b6

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/american-school-in-london-accused-of-...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58917227

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/10/30/teaching-white-privilege-rif...

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By WhichTyler
08th Dec 2021 12:23

'telling us that we are a racist country is that is doesn't reconcile with the experience we all have of living here.'

We don't *all* have that experience. I haven't been stopped by the police on suspicion, had people move their bags out of the way when I walk towards them, etc but I have been with black friends when its happened to them.

And don't you see it's possible that routine sexual harassment and discrimination exists without accusing every man being a rapist

We should all be treated equally, but we are not, and are a long way from it. While we are not treated equally, why not draw attention to the issue and take action to level the playing field? Our perception of what is 'equal treatment' (not to say 'merit') is framed by our own view and experience; interrogating this to check our underlying assumptions shouldn't be challenging

Ignoring it when we know it exists is a hard stance to defend...

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By creamdelacream
08th Dec 2021 12:41

I have not defended racism, I am adding context to the narrative that we are a horribly racist country - we are not. Where racism actually exists it should be called out and dealt with, just as sexual harassment should be. But that doesn't mean we should start making hiring decisions, giving special treatment or framing certain groups as victims or oppressed and other groups as oppressors. That just makes everything worse and creates division and resentment.

Like I said things have always gotten better over time but we're now at a point where they have started to turn for the worse, see links in previous post or any number of examples of this new woke agenda damaging our society.

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By WhichTyler
08th Dec 2021 13:14

creamdelacream wrote:

But that doesn't mean we should start making hiring decisions, giving special treatment or framing certain groups as victims or oppressed and other groups as oppressors. That just makes everything worse and creates division and resentment.

I could argue that making 'certain groups' apply for jobs more often than certain other groups is giving them special treatment, albeit negative, and we have the power to change that. And why wait?

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By creamdelacream
08th Dec 2021 13:36

For all the reasons I have previously mentioned

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By WhichTyler
08th Dec 2021 13:21

And a final note: you have used 'horrible' 'oppressor' and 'victim', not me. That is your framing.

I try (not always successfully but repeatedly) to see it like this: there is a problem here that affects people I care about and the community I live in, and me. If I can do something to improve the situation, I should try. And understanding those problems and how they affect other people will help make my feeble efforts more productive...

You do your thing, whatever that is

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By creamdelacream
08th Dec 2021 13:38

This is how the woke narrative paints the picture of our country, it's not coming from me.

My thing is to continue to be an equalitarian and make my decisions based on merit and not identity. Or as Dr. King said, judge people by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skin.

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By Tax Dragon
09th Dec 2021 02:28

You personally may well treat everyone equally. The middle classes in general may well be filled with decent folk like you who welcome black people into their NCT groups, their cricket clubs, their churches, their streets, and even their homes. So long as the black person acts like a white person, everything's fine.

My Mum was like that. Overtly, consciously like that. She'd point out that when 'we' go 'over there', we would be expected to respect 'their culture'; if we went to live, it would involve 'fitting in'. So when 'they' come over here, they should expect to live like us. ('They' is obviously far wider than black people here - covers anyone from outside the UK.)

Believed in equality, my Mum. But not in multiculturalism. Not in diversity.

While we can argue about whether Mum was right or not, it doesn't address the point WhichTyler makes about CVs. It doesn't explain why, in this equal, civil society you assure me we live in, the majority - that's more than 50% - of women asked say they have had to tolerate some form of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. It doesn't explain all the other stats that you choose to ignore because recognising them endorses some kind of 'woke narrative'.

Meanwhile you can also dismiss the individual examples of casual (and not so casual) racism and abuse that Lion, WT and I have mentioned - because they were clearly perpetrated by 'a few nasty racists' (or at least people less enlightened than you).

It's convenient when you can ignore all the inequality in society, and when you can likewise ignore the direct abuse individuals suffer, because these things don't affect you. Some people can't ignore those things. Because they experience them.

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By Paul Crowley
07th Dec 2021 13:04

The problem is defining disproportionately
Generally men take more risks
That is why adding the wife to a car insurance policy reduces the premium
Men die at work so much more regularly than women, because they are prepared to work in more dangerous environments, and get paid a rate to reflect risk.
97% male

https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf

Success in business does require taking risks, even if not life threatening

Nobody is suggesting that women should start dying at work or even increase their lack of representation in suicide or homelessness statistics
And lets be clear very few men, as a proportion, get to the top
The top is a risky place to be, and that position can be short lived as "performance" is there for the world to see

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By Rammstein1
02nd Dec 2021 08:17

Patel added that even in his company with such a diverse range of employees, those in leadership positions still do predominantly fall into the white male category.

“I’m sick and tired of getting an email that someone has been promoted or they’re moving onto a bigger and better role, and it’s a white person, a male person, a person who’s able-bodied - a person who fits in with the clique of the organisation,” he said.

Wow, that's discrimination in a nutshell. I would be happy for the promoted person myself.

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Replying to Rammstein1:
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By creamdelacream
02nd Dec 2021 08:29

A lot of this stuff is discrimination and actually unlawful. You're not legally allowed to hire someone based on their identity as that's quite rightly discrimination (Equality Act 2010). If you have two candidates exactly the same quality and one has an ID that would make your company more diverse then that's okay, but realistically when are candidates of exactly the same quality?

I really hope AW doesn't go down this woke route, it's one of the shrinking places online where you can get away from political ideologies.

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By Paul Crowley
02nd Dec 2021 17:36

Most read and trending all day
But very few comments
Odd don't you think

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Hugo Fair
02nd Dec 2021 18:28

Probably because either it's been written as obvious clickbait - or the quotes are accurate but from people with their logic module removed.

"“I don’t believe in unconscious bias,” she told the audience. “I think it’s a conscious decision - it’s a nice way to not take responsibility. I have some conscious biases too.”"
Belief = fine (albeit demonstrably untrue); followed by Thought = it's a free world (but woolly beyond measure - which 'it' is being referenced?); and then Statement = fine (but complete non sequitur in terms of any connective logic).

I know politicians have developed this style of disconnected speaking (as a means of providing sound-bites without actually saying anything let alone developing a coherent argument) ... but we don't need more of it here on Aweb.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Paul Crowley
02nd Dec 2021 18:57

My response (now missing) did use the word soundbite
I suggested a video recording as it is really unfair to atribute soundbites to named people without context and what was previously said to trigger the soundbite.
I would be mortified to have any of the quotes attributed to me.
The worst being "No such thing..." Difficult to accept that kind of comment being made without a provocative comment being reacted to.
Still what would I know?
Oh yea that's it
I looked at the census statistics and the diversity quotient of my enployees shows an imbalance
My firm appears to be too diverse
Even worse two Aspies, one of whom actually runs the firm

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Hugo Fair
02nd Dec 2021 19:06

Careful with your quotas ... you might find you have to replace yourself!

And at least I can cross-off 'incipient memory-loss' from my lengthening list of medical ailments ... I *thought* you'd posted previously - but the evidence was gone. Is Aweb turning into a quantum world of posts - depending on the observer?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Paul Crowley
02nd Dec 2021 19:18

Much appreciated
The idea of quotas I consider oppressive
But maybe I had used up my posting quota for the day

Maybe I should like my postings just to confirm that I did post
An email arrives even if you like your own posting

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Paul Crowley
02nd Dec 2021 19:22

Email confirmation that I posted has already arrived.
But the trending listing below only shows 5 comments
Maybe my arithmetic is out
Just like Clint Eastwood

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Richard Hattersley
By Richard Hattersley
06th Dec 2021 12:37

Some of the comments have been moderated and are constantly being reviewed.

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Replying to Richard Hattersley:
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By Hugo Fair
12th Dec 2021 12:48

Actually, none of the comments up to & including the one from Paul Crowley on
02nd Dec 2021 at 19:22 have been moderated one iota.
Several were initially removed (unnecessarily) and have now been reinstated (thank you) without the need for a single edit.
What *has* disappeared is the gratuitously insulting post from ourpetsheadsarefallingoff on 03rd Dec 2021 at 10:26 + my response/riposte to it.
I'm happy to see the junking of both ... but still have no idea why the initial action was to leave the insulting post in place but remove my riposte?
Ah well, the screen-print of the two posts together will make a nice Xmas card!

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By Paul Crowley
06th Dec 2021 13:50

I see some comments reinstated
I see no offensive posts or personal attacks

Maybe Morgan Freeman gets how this works

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By Mr_awol
07th Dec 2021 12:00

Quotas and targets are absolutely ridiculous, promoted by pure self interest and supported by people with a desire to be seen to be accommodating that.

Even in the articles supporting 'diversity' you often find a mixed message about how (insert oppressed characteristic here) are equally capable of doing the work and their characteristic makes no difference to their ability - followed up with some nonsense about how employers are missing out on key skills that can suddenly (in the eyes of the person seeking to push their agenda) only, or better, be provided by persons of that characteristic.

I'm also very much for freedom of choice. If no men want to be in a female-dominated profession, or very few ladies want to be scaffolders, then so be it. As long as those that do, are able to, why should we aim for statistical equality just for the sake of it.

But this isn't normally about scaffolders is it? It's normally about pushing an agenda to get a group of people into high level/highly paid positions. A leg up, an easy ride. Like that makes up for years/decades of genuine inequality. Two wrongs do not make any rights.

On the other hand, celebrating and promoting the successes of those who have arrived at their position on merit, to encourage others to follow, is absolutely a positive move.

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