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Friday 9 February, Rob Lyons

Diversity: does it matter?

Podcast: listen to the debate from Battle of Ideas 2017

Diversity is widely celebrated in contemporary society. Big employers have adopted elaborate strategies to recruit more diverse workforces. On the world stage, diversity is posited as a progressive antidote to ‘backward forces’ clinging to outdated national cultures. But has diversity become an illiberal orthodoxy? When Google engineer James Damore notoriously inquired whether diversity was an incontestable virtue, he lost his job. Do diversity policies invite a permanent war of cultures, resulting in a society increasingly segmented along the lines of identity? Can we achieve fair treatment and equal access to jobs without creating discriminatory and divisive hiring practices?

SPEAKERS

JOSIE APPLETON
director, civil liberties group, Manifesto Club; author, Officious: rise of the busybody state; blogs at notesonfreedom.com

AMALI DE ALWIS
CEO, Code First: Girls; chair, BIMA Diversity panel; fellow, RSA

DREDA SAY MITCHELL
author, journalist, broadcaster and campaigner; winner, CWA’s John Creasey Dagger for debut novel, Running Hot; latest novel, Blood Daughter

CATHY YOUNG
US journalist and commentator; weekly columnist, Newsday; author, Ceasefire!: women and men must join forces to achieve true equality

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