Debating Diversity

The Morality of Diversity… it was an interesting provocative title, as all BBC Radio Four titles for this programme are, and naively, I didn’t think it meant exactly that, debating whether working towards a fairer, more equitable, society was right or not.

There is so much debate within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) space about how to go about achieving that goal, that there is enough to sustain several weeks of programming, let alone 45 minutes.

Targets, for one. Should there be Diversity Targets? Cultural Intelligence, there’s another. Is a measurable survey the way forward to change? Language, there’s one more. Is the word Diversity being used as a stick to beat people over the head with, thus losing it’s focus? What pressure does society put on people of ethnic minority to have the answers to Diversity? How do we tackle the issue of white privilege? … and on.

Sadly, none of these key questions were debated. There was not one Black person on the programme, let alone as a “witness”, no women of colour and the sole ethnic minority was on the panel, Shiv Malik. Diversity is not just about race, I know, but you would have thought, as a key issue within the area of concern, it would be represented.

So, where were the ethnic minorities?

Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla are two who said they were approached to take part in the programme, but refused. You can see why here. 

I have no doubt the producers would have tried many more, but I have not seen any more public references to them, however, the sole POC panellist, Shiv Malik seemed to allude to that here…

It is my view that these responses should have been examined by the producers. The Unconscious Bias of the team should have been called out by the overwhelming negative view on the programme’s focus and the team could have adjusted their outlook.

So, we go back to this: Diversity is simply the mix of all people, everyone has an element of Diversity about them because we are all individual. Inclusion is the culture where we all feel accepted for our individuality. Please, tell me this is not a matter for debate? If so, then we are simply going back to listening to the cries of Enoch Powell. Is that where the Morality of Diversity argument still lives?