As part of its near parodic lack of self-awareness, The New York Times offers an editorial called "Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem":
After years of playing down the problem, technology companies like Google, Facebook and Apple now say they're serious about improving the gender and ethnic diversity of their work forces and corporate boards. Recent data from those companies and others like them confirm what everyone has long known: Most of their employees are white and Asian men. Among technical employees, few are women, and even fewer are Latino or African-American.
Tech companies should care about these numbers. Many studies show that companies with gender and ethnic diversity tend to be more creative and more profitable, because varied perspectives help them design products and services that appeal to a diverse, worldwide audience.
No doubt "many" "studies" can be found that show such things. In which case, as John Hinderaker points out, why doesn't the New York Times editorial board give "diversity" a try?
The Times says it is a "problem" that "Most [Silicon Valley] employees are white and Asian men." So let's count! Sure enough, 11 of the editorial board's 19 members are white or Asian men. Worse, only one out of 19 is African-American. That's a little under one-half the proportion of African-Americans in the population. How about a Rooney Rule for the New York Times?
You know those white lesbian parents who are suing the sperm bank for selling them African-American sperm rather than the Caucasian sperm they requested, and thus forcing them to raise a black child in their overwhelmingly white neighborhood? There are surely days when the Grey Lady's lone black guy feels like the mis-inseminated lesbian's daughter of the Times editorial board.
But, beyond the usual cheap laughs at the diversity poseurs' expense, how ridiculous is it that The New York Times is offering advice on how to be "more creative" and "more profitable" to Google, Apple and Facebook? This is the company that so mismanaged its affairs its old-money patriarch had to call in a Mexican sugar daddy to bail them out. These are the "creative" geniuses who in the 1990s paid $1.4 billion for The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram, only to unload them for a combined $70 million, while retaining $100 million in pension liabilities. (In other words, they gave the papers away.)
Last year, Amazon (which presumably is as non-diverse as Google et al) bought The Washington Post for less than the Times paid for The Worcester Telegram in 1999. Why would anyone take business advice from The New York Times?
~I'm Minnesota-bound this week. On Thursday, I'll be taking the stage at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for an evening presented by the Center of the American Experiment. It's been a while since I was in the Twin Cities, so I'm looking forward to it. You can get more info and reserve your tickets here.
~After that, it's on to the grueling rigors of the ol' book launch. I have a new tome hitting bookstands in a fortnight's time: The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. You can pre-order now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indigo-Chapters in Canada, and other retailers. Royalties go to prop up my end of the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, so I hope you'll bear it in mind for that pesky aunt who's so difficult to pick out a Christmas gift for.