Diversity good, tokenism not

14/12/2011

Question of the day:

The question does have to be asked: is diversity for the sake of diversity what we really need? Does the deliberate attempt to include a broader range of people actually improve  representation?   Amelia Romanos 

The answer to the first question is no – that’s not diversity but tokenism.

The answer to the second is it could but doesn’t always.

Judith Collins, Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata have added to the gender and ethnic diversity of National’s front bench and they have won their places through merit not tokenism.

If the broader range includes people who deserve to be through ability and for the contribution they will make, as it is with these three, that is good. If it includes people who are not there for their skills and ability but only for what they contribute to diversity it isn’t.

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