Our CEO is in town here in New York this week, which means that all of NYC leadership is going to dinner with him. A colleague commented to me that the entire dinner will be white men, with the exception of one Indian-American man. I shrugged and said I wasn’t surprised, but that’s our company. What are we going to do about it? This is not really a real conversation that is going to go anywhere. I do not know why we are even bringing up such a moot point.
I’ve realized that voicing concerns like this really do not make any difference and prompt no change. When it’s convenient, someone from HR will say something callous like, “it’s diverse on our leadership team: our CMO is Japanese.” Or, “there are two (white) women on this team’s mangers/directors list.” They think they are helping; they are not and only making things worse. They are tokening the entire diversity situation. The most we can do is fight for ourselves and our paycheck, get whatever we can out of the company (which usually means.. trying to outperform as much as possible so that you are not only maximizing your paycheck but also adding a lot of business value for the customer and ultimately the company), and tune out all the politics and the genuine care. We cannot really survive in the business world if we are constantly caring about things that are fully out of our individual control.