A recent report by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) uses both terms, “diverse” and “minority”. It appears that ethnic minorities are African American, Asian American and Latino while women are gender minorities (See my post of Dec. 4, 2005 that recognizes it’s easier to meet goals for women than for other minorities.). That much we know, save possibly the omission of Native Americans.
The term “diversity,” immeasurably broader, includes “ethnic, racial, thinking styles, religious beliefs, communication styles, education, parental status, and sexual orientation, to name a few.” Imagine naming a lot!
Does the MCCA believe law departments should extend special efforts on behalf of Irish (ethnic), MBTI extroverts (thinking styles), Mormons (religious beliefs), stutterers or Southern drawlers (communication style), LLM’s or Ivy Leaguers (education), adopting parents (parental status), and transgender lawyers (sexual orientation)? Are over-weight in-house counsel mainstream or diverse; do bald men deserve hiring, mentoring and retention efforts? And, what degree of the characteristic qualifies a person (See my post of Sept. 4, 2005 on this nuance.)?
How even-handedly and open-mindedly we treat people is extremely important, and my question is serious: if we break people down by enough categories, everyone will become a person of diversity (See my post of March 28, 2006 on the reluctance of some to “gauge diversity.”).