According to an Associated Press story today Wal-Mart Stores Inc., “facing lawsuits for alleged gender bias and unfair treatment of workers, will cut top executives’ bonuses if the company does not meet its diversity goals.” The article says that the pay cuts will be made “if the company does not promote women and minorities in proportion to the number that apply for management positions.” It then quotes company chief executive Lee Scott: “If 50 percent of the people applying for the job of store manager are women, we will work to make sure that 50 percent of the people receiving those jobs are women.”
Better fire your general counsel, Mr. Scott. Hiring to meet racial and gender quotas violates the civil rights laws just as much as the other alleged behavior you are so panicked to address. If 50 percent of the most qualified applicants are women, then 50 percent of those you hire should be women; but if the number is 100 percent, you should hire 100 percent—and if it’s 0 percent, then it should be 0 percent.
In other words, just forget about the numbers and hire the best people, okay?