Pascal Derrien

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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In Diversity We Trust

In Diversity We Trust


Months ago I wrote half an article that was meant to be bundled along side another half. Myself and another blogger had in mind to produce a long form post together. For various reasons it did not happen and it did not help that I had also lost the draft which is something that rarely happens to me. I cannot recall the content in great details but I remember the title I had proposed : In Diversity We Trust

Do we? Most of you know that I am no academic so don't worry I wont provide a lecture on the topic yet I would like to touch on a few points, hence a few words based on my own observation rather than theories. 

Lately Ireland has been in the news because our Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has completed a triathlon, he is also the first openly gay politician of Indian origin to reach the top of the echelon in Irish politics. Is Leo the Irish poster boy showing how progressive the island has become, has Ireland mastered societal changes ? I am not so sure and here is why.

First Leo has reached the ultimate office as the result of complex political party mechanics. Varadkar got appointed by his peers from his own party to replace a vacant seat at the helm of his party and subsequently his party having established an alliance with another political organization made sure his new position got ratified in parliament. 

Without falling or should I say failing to explain the interactions of Irish politics we can probably and safely take a short cut by saying his appointment was not the result of a popular vote. The question is would he have been elected otherwise?

Ireland is no longer an homogeneous society so it is about time to park The Quiet Man imagery and other leprechaun legends. 12% of the population was not born in Ireland according to a recent census, that's roughly 600 to 700 K out of a population of 4.7 M if we exclude Northern Ireland. 

They play or I should say we play (as I am one of them) an essential part and role in the country's economy foot print. Hospitals could not function without Filipinos nurses, the construction sector would be at a standstill without the Polish tradesmen, retail and hospitality would have ceased trading if it was not for its foreign born work force. 

Yet the representation in media, politics, business boards and other visible presiding function is quasi inexistent. We kind of live in an optical illusion in which atmospheric refraction is sealed by a layer of hot air distorts about integration. The general public is having conniption because the country will take 330 refugees next year. Beyond all PR attempts to revert the trend I personally think this is pathetically reflective of an insularity and parish mind-set. 

With the help of a few visionary Irish diplomats, I lobbied very hard to get our voices heard and recognized on the National 2014 constitution consultation document but because the term Migrant still had a pejorative connotation I had  to settle for the concept of affinity diaspora.There is a long way to go.

Now multinationals and technology companies in Ireland all sing the multicultural and multi-ethnic karaoke and are very prompt to give advices and lessons when it comes to diversity in the work force. There is more than meet the eye there too. 

If you were to drone over their premises you would probably realize that companies claiming to have 45% or more of their employees coming from oversea have probably less than 2% of them in management teams let alone leadership roles and if it happens it's more by accident than design.

Corporations need to tidy their schizophrenic approach to diversity, the all outside in experience being so dearly hunted by their recruiters has to be left at the door when you join them. You need to be a culture fit you see, you will be told you need to be a good corporate citizen, you will realize pretty quickly that having an opinion will get you labelled as contrary. 

Slowly you will realize how tribal is the performance review process, you will be depicted by the system and its thirst to replicate clones, it will be obvious that kinship get you far and a divergent background not. You know it, I know it, and they know it. 

When one start to implement quotas about gender balance or introduce diversity KPIs you know there is something wrong in how this is dealt with. We need to be vigilant and aware, so with a sense of satire I would like to introduce a new acronym: TAD. TAD = that attitude is dangerous.

Is diversity an hallucination, something on the edge of illusory and unattainable? I don't think so but it requires personal responsibility, commitment and everyday call to action.

I know it is hard and it would probably be easier to give up but It does not have to be that way right ? You got to speak up and impose your views, surely like anybody else you are able to voice your difference and point out the wrong doings. 

Am I completely wrong in assuming that deep down let alone being a clone you don't want to be a clown.

Do you?





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Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #38

#41
lot of hatred everywhere. But you have a voice, people do get to achieve solutions in USA for their own countries. That is something unique. Social divisions have been acceptable here for centuries until we decided to learn from the US.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #37

#41
thanks Pamela \ud83d\udc1d Williams I think it is probably more a question of making it happen when one is rather than going to a place where everything has fallen into places, there will always be friction but if we can make it a slightly better on our turf I think it can go a long way :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #36

#39
of all places on the planet 🌎 you are the best positioned to bring some insights of the dos and don'ts Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #35

Moving to South Africa as a foreigner (a white foreigner) in 1999 there was still an attitude of celebrating our diverse cultural background. We were trying our best to be that rainbow nation. Now things are different. Whilst the people look into each others eyes and make a judgement call on who that person is rather than what they are, things at the top are different. A divide and rule policy and a lot of finger pointing on all sides is taking place. Unfortunately we have to all admit that as humans we still mainly judge each other for what we are rather than who we are.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #34

#37
thanks Devesh \ud83d\udc1d Bhatt for sharing first hand experience.......

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #33

#35
if we were to talk in lines of caste ,Dalit and Non dalit. I belong to the upper caste despised by dalits, Himalayas are a non caste environment, so is a lot of the non river basin belt. Ram Nath kovind is an example of a Dalit who traded civil liberties of his caste for upper caste pupilage. Fyi.. see the Child labour Act of india legislated on 28th July 2016. Most lowere caste children suffere from this. Most upper caste children languishing in poverty suffer from this.. Our Nobel laureate has been talking in a muffled voice over this. Nobody opposed the passage of this bill, there was no public outcry because the areas where they resented, it wasnt covered by the media. Post demonetisation, children have been forced to work for food and shelter and Govt has fudged the numbers of child labour. I voted for this Govt. I feel ashamed now. Urban educated Indians believe in outsourcing social welfare to really old people. A 90 year old won us our Right to privacy, a 75 yr old our right to information. As far as India is concerned, A dalit President is political appeasement to show that all is progressive while dalit and non dalit politicians screw the people. It is a sham Casteism is publicised based on incidents that happen after a boiling point on certain days. The poor are exploited every single day, amd yes the women and children. Any man with money in their pockets has never been exploited. After long drawn enquiries,this is the outcome every single time.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #32

#35
true Yolanda but a taste of too few too little :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #31

#33
many thanks for dropping by I agree fully with the principles but I have not seen this executed or followed thru maybe there are examples out there which are not lip service 😀

Jim Murray

4 years ago #30

Pascal Derrien. I'm glad you are getting a lot of views and comments. This is a very important issue these days as we battle to keep the playing field level for everyone.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #29

#23
I hear you Pascal Derrien; I'm a foreigner here and in my country of origin, but I KNOW I'm lucky because I'm white(ish) and speak English....isn't that an awful thing to say! I used it on my own boys when they pissed and moaned about something (they were raised in the US); 'you're white, male, huge, English-speaking, in a first-world country....you have absolutely no grounds for whinging!'

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #28

#27
mimetism microcosm and other little corners are hatred havens Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher don't be too hard on your town maybe it could reveal itself as a pocket of tolerance now that's the forever optimist in me :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #27

#27
a few home truths in your comments actually the video is fan made so probably more some kind of organic marketing than something fully thought thru :-) speaking of music I really like Corrosion of Conformity CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit :-)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #26

#13
Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, "They have friends with two daddies and others with two mommies. They have no comprehension of why that is somehow anything but normal. My wife and I strive to keep that attitude alive." That's how my parents raised us during the 60's and on. It wasn't until I grew older and began 'hearing' of race issues that I realized there were people who weren't able to accept or tolerate people who were weren't white. It made my stomach turn, literally and I had a hard time comprehending why people were so 'ugly,' literally- I really had a hard time understanding hatred over differing colors. I'm ashamed to admit but where I live now, well it's rare to see many black people here. I grew up in a diverse town and it's real... the town I live in is proof as are many rural areas that they still aren't open to diversity. If my daughter didn't live here, I would move in a heartbeat. My hope for the future, our kids and grandchildren. It has to stop somewhere, and begin anew!

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #25

There is diversity as an intelligence and there is diversity as a political and corporate conception. What diversity means to a politician or a typical corporate HR response is no where near diversity being an intelligence. Corporate and political speak is itself a conformity that plays out in similiar ways - so how the heck is that diverse? When the policy makers and political hacks all sound the same, then this idea of diversity is a product produced that resembles very little to the intelligence that should be diverse. Saying the right things and presenting oneself as diverse is another part of that branding song and dance that gets played, and that dance is definitely a conformist one, and nothing remotely like developing value from difference or recognizing diversity as an individual freedom and choice rather than a political or corporate conscription. Even the Chevelle band is not really diverse unless the four million albums it sold can be proven to be cutting cross boundaries. My guess is that there is a certain tribe who buys much of that music and so eventually the Chevelle's have their own marketing niche in which to sell records. The point here is not what the Chevelle's are but what marketing is and what politics is. Diversity should be that which is above those primal forces, but it is not. For sure acceptable prejudices as well damning prejudices prevail as do tribal separations Citing diversity initiatives does very little to all that stuff, which simply gets brushed under the carpet. Candor and difficult conversations are not the mainstay of diversity initiatives, but they should be - and as a Few Good Men Says - diversity initiatives often "cannot handle the truth".

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #24

There is diversity as an intelligence and there is diversity as a political and corporate conception. What diversity means to a politician or a typical corporate HR response is no where near diversity being an intelligence. Corporate and political speak is itself a conformity that plays out in similiar ways - so how the heck is that diverse? When the policy makers and political hacks all sound the same, then this idea of diversity is a product produced that resembles very little to the intelligence that should be diverse. Saying the right things and presenting oneself as diverse is another part of that branding song and dance that gets played, and that dance is definitely a conformist one, and nothing remotely like developing value from difference or recognizing diversity as an individual freedom and choice rather than a political or corporate conscription. Even the Chevelle band is not really diverse unless the four million albums it sold can be proven to be cutting cross boundaries. My guess is that there is a certain tribe who buys much of that music and so eventually the Chevelle's have their own marketing niche in which to sell records. The point here is not what the Chevelle's are but what marketing is and what politics is. Diversity should that which is above those primal forces, but it is not. For sure acceptable prejudices prevail as do tribal separations and citing diversity initiatives does very little to all that stuff which simply gets brushed under the carpet. Candor and difficult conversations are not the mainstay of diversity initiatives, but they should be - and as a Few Good Men Says - diversity initiatives often "cannot handle the truth".

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #23

#22
thanks Antoinette Capasso-Backdahl :-) True

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #22

#20
thanks Lisa Vanderburg it is a tricky one and I sometimes end up believing that people won't understand what it is to be a foreigner until they actually become one, there are roughly 250 millions of people in the world living and working in a country different than their country of origin :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #21

#19
thanks MLK was a visionary and we are cruelly missing people of his stature at the moment on those issues

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #20

An exceptional buzz that I really enjoyed reading Pascal Derrien says, we're predictors, and feeling the pinch of 7.5 billion people. As you know, Joyce wrote a great piece: https://www.bebee.com/producer/@joyce-bowen/am-i-a-racist I have that rather horrid feeling we are trying too hard. I am not a racist, but I'm drawing the line of lobsters ruling the earth (again...pants at it the first time 'round). Is our sheer numbers making us 'believe' we are lying to ourselves?

David B. Grinberg

4 years ago #19

Thanks for sharing your valuable views on such an important and timely issue, Pascal. A few thoughts, albeit from an American perspective: 1) Diversity is a fact of life regardless of whether one likes or loathes it. Moreover, the workplace is a microcosm of society, meaning that employees don't leave their diverse views, perspectives and cultural backgrounds at the company doorstep. 2) You hit the proverbial "nail on the head" in stating, "When one start to implement quotas about gender balance or introduce diversity KPIs you know there is something wrong." Quotas are unlawful in the U.S. workplace, with the rare exception of a court order mandating it. However, I wonder how different the politically correct alternative option of "goals and timetables" is for a diverse workforce? Is this not a racial/gender/ethnic preference? 3) All jobs should be strictly based on a peron's merit, talent and ability -- rather than on non-job related criteria such as race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, etc. (unless such criteria can be proven under employment law as a "bona fide occupational qualification" or BFOQ, which is intrinsic to the nature and operation of the business). 4) Remember the wise words of American iconic civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. -- judge people by their "content of character" rather than race, skin color, or related superficial factors which arguably promote division, not inclusion.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #18

#17
thanks Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee indeed we are cannibals, I have been very active on that front but various degree of successes but at least I can tell my kids I tried :-)

Great piece, Pascal Derrien. But you are fighting the Human Condition. I sat with someone yesterday--trying to explain the unimaginable--that Humans are a predatory species and prey on their own kind. Perhaps if we get down to those basics, we will overcome nature-ingrained instincts.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #16

#15
thanks Debasish Majumder share much appreciated that's a small concrete action to spread the message :-)

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #15

lovely insight with regards to a complex issue! enjoyed read and shared Pascal Derrien. thank you for the share.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #14

#13
thanks Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr Ireland has a lot catch up to do, for example there is one Muslim teacher in Ireland today , that's not reflecting really the composition of the pupils in our Irish classrooms. The old generation is completely out of their depth when it comes to the new society parameters and have huge difficulty to accept that the Irish identity is evolving at a very quick pace

don kerr

4 years ago #13

Part 2: Pascal Derrien It was my great fortune to spend a considerable amount of time over several years in your adopted country - both the Republic and the north. I recall on my first visit to Dublin just about 15 years ago, noting the virtual absence of people of colour. I remarked to my companion that we had seen exactly one black person and that just happened to be the disgraced Canadian Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson. I also recall having a remarkable conversation with an old chap at a pub in County May who asked if we Canadians ate and gathered with 'them black fellas'. Unfortunately, to echo Jim, this lack of tolerance is a learned behaviour. My kids have friends who are Asian, Chinese, African, Lebanese, Saudi, and Australian(!). They have friends with two daddies and others with two mommies. They have no comprehension of why that is somehow anything but normal. My wife and I strive to keep that attitude alive.

don kerr

4 years ago #12

Part 1: Pascal Derrien's astute comments. Canada has, with certain caveats, especially with regard to our treatment of indigenous peoples, a deserved reputation for tolerance and diversity. However, it was only about 10 years ago that controversy in our country revolved around a passionate debate about whether Sikh members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should be allowed to wear turbans. Now, a turban-wearing Sikh is running for nomination as the leader of one of the federal political parties. It was only a couple of years ago that a debate raged in Quebec about the right for women to wear the hijab and appear in court with their faces covered. That one has yet to come to a total resolution. Our federal Conservative party has elected a leader who has some worrying tones that replicate the mad ravings of the alt-right movement. We are not immune to the same vicissitudes that surround racial profiling by our police with carding still an unresolved issue in many of our major metropolitan centers.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #11

#10
thanks Jim Murray for dropping by, world is not perfect and we are not perfect either as a specie Ireland has a gone thru a massive learning curve from an inward migration perspective now you would think of all countries and with a long tradition of emigration they would adapt quicker but no it takes ages to reverse a narrative of victimhood into a modern and innovative thinking of openness.

Jim Murray

4 years ago #10

It's interesting to read this about your adopted country, Pascal. In Canada, we have a PM who believes that diversity is one of our strengths, as do I. And we probably have one of the world's better batting averages in that regard. But every society and country has its warts. And though it's not anywhere near as institutionalized as it is in the US, racism and tribalism does exist here to a limited extent. For the life of me I cannot figure out where this comes from. We certainly aren't born that way so it has to be something that is taught. Well I never took the courses or got the memos, and grew up (and older) believing that the human race was the only race, and that all you had to do was look around and see that while people may look a little different or have different skin pigmentation, there are achievers and slackers all over the place. To me it's an absurdity, and something I have never been able to understand. But then again. I'm a white guy living in a predominantly white country that goes out of it's way not to be like the US. So what do I know? Good post.

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #9

#8
Hey just be careful where you throw the skins, or we'll all be sliding down the slippery slope of political correctness (or is it incorrectness)? 🙊🍌

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #8

#7
bananas for all Ken Boddie and I sense many would agree with your comments now if you excuse me I need to get back to my cage :-)

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #7

Interesting take on diversity, Pascal, which stimulates my fog of a memory and brings me back to my uni days, when I read the evolutionary works of Desmond Morris. The concept, if my memory serves me, is that we have not advanced, socially, beyond our primate forefathers in the cave; and therefore we are still subliminally bound to seek out groups of 6 to 8 based on affinity (whether real of perceived) rather than diversity, as a consequence of our bonding capabilities being ineffective beyond these cave-sized groups. While, theoretically, we may state that we abhor lack of diversity, lest we are labelled as politically incorrect, we need to be aware that we survived in our primate past based on affinity and a healthy cautious suspicion of diversity. By all means let's embrace diversity, and encourage its development, but let's be aware that, every now and then, our 'Naked Ape' past surfaces to mess with our best endeavours.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #6

#5
thanks Laurent Boscherini this is a complex if not a complicated equation I think we tend over engineer the concept but you are rightly pointing out it is about setting the right tone :-)

Laurent Boscherini

4 years ago #5

Thank you Pascal Derrien for sharing your excellent post so sensitive. Maybe, the Cultural Evolution Society places diversity issues in the foreground of its structure and by-laws,steered by the science and public policy recommendations should be stronger. If none is the same, we have to think, all of us are living in a very scaled world, excepted in our mind to react about it in its context.

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #4

#1
a lot of interesting thoughts there Devesh \ud83d\udc1d Bhatt :-) especially that one ''Is diversity the critical requirement or a safeguard''

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #3

#2
I would second that Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris :-) Yet it seems to be a mighty obstacle for some :-(

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

4 years ago #2

Perhaps the problem is not diversity, but lack of tolerance. In every society there is some degree of diversity and it's usually fine. When people in that society cannot handle the diversity because of whatever reason, then it becomes a problem. I believe that many of the world's issues can be resolved if we learn to get along with each other better...

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #1

First we gamed our own identity. Now we game diversity. Ultimately it is not what works best but what is mutually acceptable. The unjustified choice is accepted by all in the name of fairness and justice. Is diversity the critical requirement or a safeguard? The priorities must be set right.

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