June 2, 2020
Diversity quotas aim to uphold meritocracy
A common criticism of diversity quotas is that it is incompatible with the meritocratic principle of ‘hiring the best person for the job’.
My view is that diversity quotas, when implemented thoughtfully, aim to uphold the meritocratic principle of ‘hiring the best person for the job’.
If systemic discrimination or unconscious biases are leading us to underrate some people’s suitability for the job and overrate others, based on irrelevant characteristics, we may end up making a suboptimal hire. Diversity quotas can help compensate for this miscalibration.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need them, because we would be better calibrated at assessing suitability for the job. Until that point, diversity quotas may be a necessary evil.
Updated Sep, 13 2020