Controversial Opinion Alert: Diversity is good

When asked by my marketing team to once again provide my perspective on recent HR trends, I immediately yelled “No!”, but then decided I wanted to know more, so I asked “How did you get in my office?”.

Eventually, once my anger faded, I agreed to note down my philosophy on diversity in the workplace. Fair warning though – what you’re about to read is an unpopular opinion: I believe diversity is good.

Hear me out! To all the people out there saying “diversity is bad for business”, and that “homogenous workforces are the best!” and even “we need more older white men in management”, well, I’m here to say just the opposite: Diversity is not only good for optics, but good for business as well.

Let’s use my own company, Gymglish, as an example. Apparently we make online language courses that are fun and efficient. We teach (I’m told): English, French, German, Spanish and soon Italian. Now, as much as I would have liked to create these courses with exclusively French labor, it simply doesn’t make sense. Obviously, I would love my pedagogical team to be entirely French, with their dumb accents, long scarves and berets – who wouldn’t? But no one can create an English course like that. We need more languages represented to make courses in different languages, period. I stand by this. 

The same is true for engineers. In an ideal (ie: French) world, we’d all be using Minitels and AZERTY keyboards, but my Swedish CTO won’t abide that. My Romanian senior dev barely speaks French – I can’t give him the latest Thompson computer and tell him to use DailyMotion for his weird Moldovan dance videos, can I? No – I need my Slacks, my Kanbans, my Basecamps and my Monday.coms. I need my YouTubes and my Reddits. Once again: Diversity is good.

Management benefits from diversity too. For years, I surrounded myself with people that think exactly the same way I do – it comforted and reassured me to hear them agree with me. I loved it when they nodded their heads stupidly at every crazy thing I said. Now, as I’ve matured, I’m not so sure that was the right path. Case in point: Recently I was forced under threat of legal action to open Gymglish’s management up to a more diverse group, including a woman and an American. And wouldn’t you know it, anecdotally, we’re doing better than ever since we made the move. I won’t go into the details, but I’m pretty sure I’m still rich. QED: Diversity is very good.


Gymglish CEO Todd Fakerton

This article is part of the Unofficial Gymglish Blog.


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9 thoughts on “Controversial Opinion Alert: Diversity is good

  1. Eduardo do Nascimento Marcos

    I am really upset with your company, Let me explain: I bought 3 years of course en French, I did this because they sent me one month free and I liked ok. But 3 days ago I got a message telling me that the course have no more stories and I was recommended to start over, (what I think it is outrageous). Moreover I went to the user page and all my previous lessons, 1 and 1/2 years of lessons are deleated and I cannot anymore review the lessons which I payed. I am really upset with your company and I regret to have recomended the course for my students and Coleagues. I am really upset.

  2. Patrice ROGIER

    You are right, diversity is good, specifically in foreign languages teaching.

    But you should repect your customers.

    No, French people don’t use Minitels in 2021 (but they used it when most of Americans and English people didn’t know Internet) and Azerty is as efficient than Qwerty for other languages than english, no, they don’t wear berets (sure, a base-ball cap the wrong way makes you look more clever).
    And french accent is dumb for you, but when English people living in France for more than half a century are unable to lose their english accent, Frenchies think that it is nice, charming. Native english speaking people are the most arrogant and the less polyglot persons.

    An old white man (contemptible variety of human being, sure)

    1. Olivia

      Hello Patrice,

      Thanks again for your comments regarding this satirical blog post on diversity. This segment is indeed a new one with an ironic tone, and you’re not the first to suggest that it’s polarizing! As the author of this post, and a mediocre white American man 😉 living in France for nearly 20 years, I want to assure you that our intent is not at all to make a claim of superiority for any nationality. Our goal here is only to poke fun at modern corporate culture, particularly American Internet culture. The CEO of Gymglish is not in any way like the narrator of this article, nor do our company values align – though we do sincerely believe in diversity in the workplace. With this series, we hope only to parody the many communication techniques used these days on the web which promote leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The tone matches most of our content in the sense that it is tongue in cheek and slightly absurd. I hope this reassures you a bit, and that you continue to read along if you feel like it.

      Regards,
      Andrew

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