Global diversity head criticizes quotas

The inaugural diversity head of a leading social media company addressed the hotly contested topic of quotas in a recent interview.

The tech industry is under more pressure than ever to improve its diversity figures but as statistics continue to disappoint, many are taking on dedicated diversity offers in a desperate attempt to address the situation.

This week, social media company Pinterest appointed its first ever head of diversity and Candice Morgan is the woman they chose to take on the challenge.

Morgan, formerly of Catalyst, has started her tenure at top speed – already calling out a much contested industry topic.

“I’m not a fan of quotas,” she told Bloomberg. “Quotas are kind of fixed numbers that an organisation wants to meet at any cost and the goal is to aim for that target, but not at the expense of sacrificing those high standards and qualities that you look for in really strong people.”

Instead, Morgan prefers the word “targets” and claims “experimental” recruiting is the key to maximizing the most value from a talent pool.

However, she also denounced those that assume diverse recruiting can lower standards.

“When people automatically assume that diverse recruiting is lowering standards, or looking at different schools is lowering standards, they’re missing people,” she stressed.

Morgan’s advice, she says, would be to determine exact expectations and make them obvious.

“[Make the] criteria for success very, very clear, and [apply the] same criteria across all the people they talk to,” she said. “I think that’s the same with anybody shooting for a career. They want to be tested, they want to work hard.

“If you’ve got 4.5 per cent Latino people coming out of universities, we should be able to hire at that same rate. I think if we see women coming out of programs just as fast and approaching half of graduates, then why aren’t we hiring that proportion?"

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