On Twitter, a corporate insider explains how DEI promotions work, and how they hilariously went wrong in the Year of All Fevers, 2020:
What it’s really like to serve as a tool in the DEI
As I’ve admitted before, despite being a confirmed thought criminal with ties to Big Frog, I’ve many times conspired to violate the 1964 Civil Right Act Title VII by intentionally discriminating *in favor of blacks*
I’ve done this with a clear conscience, for two reasons:
It’s inevitable anyway, & whether I’ve taken a paycheck or sworn an oath, the duty of serving an organization includes the obligation to proactively protect it against ruinous charges like “institutional racism”
Reconciling morals is the easy part. What’s hard is rigging the system hard enough to withstand the enormous statistical headwind of black census share & underperformance…
…but subtle enough not to be so screamingly obvious even a white guy can land a knockout EEO suit.
Now the best way to do that is by increasing the # of elements & complexity in a selection process. What you want is something that’d make a rural change of venue jury fall asleep.
“We use Schmendrick-VanDeMerwe, a 17 point management competency assessment” Stuff like that.
What this does is allow you to sneak subjective ratings into something that sounds overall objective.
Because, key point: raters will know what to do WITHOUT BEING TOLD. No explicit conversation is required. Everyone in white collar management today knows who to overrate…
Bearing all that in mind, in 2019 I was asked to help un-stall a DEI program
that on first pass had failed to deliver desired results.
Catch was we couldn’t totally discard the existing process, but only modify existing features. No problem since I knew just what to do.
Legacy system used a mix of test scores, superior ratings, peer ratings & simulated performance.
The way to go was: reduce weight on the tests (too g loaded) & peer ratings (too honest) & put that balance into a modified set of simulations.
Fun fact: blacks like role play.
They do well at it. Less likely than whites & far less likely than Asians to recoil at the artifice or flunk due to shyness. That plus the role play is scored by senior staff aware of “the big picture” (i.e. quota needs).
Need more black finalists? Add a role play exercise.
So far, so good, I’m an unlikely hero of diversity, equity, & inclusion, right?
WRONG. Because what comes after 2019 is 2020, the Year of All Fevers.
And here enters into the story a newly prominent black activist, who knows exactly what (& who) the real problem must be.
Spoiler: it’s people like me, cleverly increasing the subjective elements of the process because that is where our implicit biases can reign free.
And it follows: the way to thwart our white (and light) supremacy is by INCREASING the weight of test scores and peer ratings.
For, after all, these are the objective & egalitarian parts of the process. These are the elements that can’t be gamed by white men with systemic privilege.
So written, so done. The g-loaded test is upped to 35% of total points (the most it’d ever been before was 25%) &
The peer ratings are upped to 25%.
So now 60% of a candidate’s score is based on how good they are at getting right answers & solving real problems, with only 40% input from manager class people who actually spend their day asking “Are there enough blacks in that picture?”
Naturally I try with every power of persuasion I can summon (which is, take my word for it, rather a lot IRL), but to no avail.
The activist—not wrongly, given what you all know—senses me an enemy on sight & feels even more sure in her course knowing that I oppose it.
To be fair, I can’t SAY the things I need to say, to be truly convincing.
I can’t explain why an objective test is the last thing you’d want. Or why letting conscientious white & Asian grinders anonymously assess your Black hopefuls is almost as bad.
I lose the argument.
The reform goes through according to her requirements.
The result, born like a deformed babe 9 months later, is the most racially disparate list of promotion eligibles in the history of organizational records.
No black candidate broke the top 25, & only 2 made the top 50.
This becomes known to a smaller group of insiders before it must be published.
There follows a furious two weeks
of meetings. The lawyers insist the list be let stand & point to what would happen in discovery.
C-suite is for throwing it out & paying whatever that takes.
PR & HR are surprisingly without strong opinions, perhaps because they’re busy updating their resumes.
The activist goes from giving me dirty looks to never looking at me at all. In cramped conference rooms & late night Zoom she manages to avoid any acknowledgment I exist.
Which is fine since at this point in the disaster, I have no solutions. Really it’s not clear why I’m still involved. Though of course I did add my voice to the admit failure & settle camp.
Lost that one too. Lawyers carried the day arguing “better to be sued by 5 than 50”
I point out whites & Asians don’t sue, & especially that they don’t get press conferences, also to no avail.
Here’s what happens next: the list goes out as is, top sheeted with an apology & promise to do better signed by more people than the Declaration of Independence.
But NOT the black activist lady, who puts out a statement of her own that mentions how tired & overworked she is at least 3 times.
But interestingly & to her credit, she does not try to fob off blame for her specific mistakes. But of course she doesn’t *own them* either.
The organization, no doubt acting on a portion of its lawyers advice most of us weren’t allowed to hear, then went a record breaking 18 months without making any executive promotions.
This despite unusually high turnover at all levels, & some very conspicuous vacancies.
But they did roll out a new “paid as if” hand picked temporary apprentice system (justified as part of the covid emergency) with picturesque levels of diversity.
Pretty smart actually, & they got away with it. Though only for the reason I stated earlier: whites don’t sue.
At the end of the cooling off period, they announced their new process:
Test = 15% (5 points < my original rec)
Peer ratings = 25% and no longer anonymous
Superior ratings = 25%
Simulation aka role play = 35%
Works like a charm. Frankly they should be sending residuals.
But while I wait for those to roll in, I treasure this lesson as the only thing of value I took from the experience:
Black people correctly sense that whites are rigging the game when they’re not looking.
They just can’t imagine the truth: that we’re rigging it for them.