Diversity Targets Are Wrong

Diversity targets anywhere in our society are wrong in principle and wrong in practice (Sunday Telegraph, Business and Money, 26th November 2023).

The particular target which bosses at fashion house ASOS have had to work towards to justify their bonuses was 15% ethnic minority “representation” at every leadership level. Fifteen percent or more has been widely adopted as a “target” for ethnic minority employment in many large organisations, but this figure is derived from the resident population at a moment in time, not from UK citizens where the ethnic minorities are a much smaller proportion – under 10%.

Foreign nationals on limited term visas have regularly been counted into the ethnic minority percentage. Why should they be favoured in employment at the expense of our own citizens, as has been recent RAF practice until stopped in effect by the resignation of a senior individual in the recruitment role? Moreover, ethnic minorities are not one homogeneous group – the 2021 census in fact distinguished by race and colour 14 ethnic minority groups in England and Wales.

This means, among other things, that in employment a numerically small ethnic minority derives great advantage vis à vis Britain’s native people and indeed other minorities by being treated as just one of the 15% quoted, without even being a British citizen.

A second pernicious unfairness to our people is the allocation of social housing where the main criterion is the “need” of people living in a particular place, not whether they are actually British citizens (see Madeline Grant’s acute observation in Sunday’s Comment pages).

All quotas in employment are a form of institutionalised favouritism and should be outlawed as the 1975 Race Relations Act did for all but a tiny number of specialised roles in hospitality and the theatre: only fitness to do the job should count. In social housing, only normal place of residence and position in the queue should count with British citizens coming first.

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