Look at Wall Street in 2008, and the White House right now. Diversity—of people and cognitive perspectives—is crucial for avoiding failure.
We need to rethink our diversity strategy, says Sallie Krawcheck. What we've been trying for the last decade hasn't been working, but what exactly is the problem? Research reveals that diversity is actually worse in meritocracies. Managers—and particularly middle managers, Krawcheck points out—fall into the cognitive trap of hiring people who "remind me of a young me" (i.e. look like them and think like them) instead of more cognitively diverse people who would bring a missing skill set to a team. This is as important now, under the almost all-white male Trump administration, as it was in the 2008 Financial Crash. Wall Street is one of the most homogenous institutions in America, and Krawcheck has no doubt that having a more diverse set of minds in finance would have lessened the severity of the global crash. In addition, risk-taking and the poor decision making that results can be tracked to fluctuations in one hormone: testosterone. Whether it's the housing bubble, America's healthcare, or foreign policy, these are mistakes that affect millions of lives. As a CEO, Krawcheck's approach and advice on diversity is changing. The current strategy has been a failure, but what if companies paid their managers, in part, based on the diversity of their hires? What if we thought of diversity as more important than meritocracy? Sallie Krawcheck is the author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work.
Times of great fear can lead to greater oppression. For Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the prospect of a Muslim registry is obscene, and it's slippery slope to something much worse.
The media and politicians in the west are playing a dangerous game of word association, says founder and editor-in-chief of muslimgirl.com Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. In fact, it’s not so much a game as it is the dehumanizing of an entire population. By linking terrorism with Islam, and Islam with terrorism an impossible generalization is forged in the public consciousness that is extremely dangerous. It incites hate within institutions and within individuals, from the largest scale to the smallest.
There is not just one kind of terrorist. Al-Khatahtbeh’s definition is simple: a terrorist is anyone who incites terrors. Mass shooters, who are overwhelmingly white males, are terrorists but they are not the image that comes to mind when the word terrorist is spoken or written. It’s a painfully selective term, applied only to people with brown skin or of the Islamic faith.
Imagine if the future president of the United States proposed a registry for all white males. Is it conceivable? And yet that’s exactly what’s on the table for America’s approximate 3.3 million Muslims. Just 12 months ago, Al-Khatahtbeh could never have imagined that a Muslim registry would be discussed as a serious policy, and to watch it harden, set and become part of quasi-normal political discourse is in her view obscene. "If we don't stand up and recognize what's taking place right now then it's a slippery slope and it honestly is very terrifying to imagine where else it could lead," she says.
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh's book is Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age.