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The Corner

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Walmart’s Quotas



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Take a look at this interview with Walmart’s “global chief diversity officer,” Sharon Orlopp. In it, she describes her successes in hiring and promoting more women and people from “traditionally underrepresented groups” — using “diversity metrics,” a “diversity-goals program,” “quantitative measurements, probably around representation, retention, promotion, etc.,” and scrutiny of “applicant versus pool placements,” and with some thought now being given to adding a “carrot” to the current “stick” in order to make sure the line is toed. Can you say “quota”?

Is hiring and promoting with an eye on race, ethnicity, and sex required by law?  No — in fact, it’s illegal.  Does this discrimination make them popular? No, not with most Americans it doesn’t. Well, then, is it “good for business,” as we’re sometimes told? No, it’s not that either: Ms. Orlopp admits, “We haven’t been able to trace an effect [on sales in stores] . . . We currently don’t have any tracking mechanisms that say because we’re more diverse it’s driven sales up.”

The fact is that there is no legal, logical, empirical, or moral justification for it, as I explained some years ago in this testimony before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

There are no good reasons for these policies, then, but there are some bad ones: pressure from the federal government, fear of “disparate impact” lawsuits, fear that Al Sharpton will say nasty things about you, etc. And so the corporations cave. They hire a “global chief diversity officer,” who will defend these programs as if her job depended on it, because of course it does.



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