Micro-talk: Diversity IS Quality

This talk explores the paradigm shift on the concepts of diversity and competence and invites you to think through the opportunities that this shift represents for CERN.

Flagship science organisations should recruit the best talent on the basis of excellence. But what constitutes excellence in individuals? How do we evaluate it? Since Diversity and Inclusion has become prominent in organisations and is now a key consideration, there is a further complication. Senior professionals involved in the evaluation of excellence often have the perception that they are caught in the “diversity vs competence” dichotomy. We often hear a version of this argument: “I am for diversity but I refuse to lower our scientific and technical standards to achieve it.” In the interest of science, more often than not, traditional metrics are used to gauge excellence.

But what if diversity itself were the quality that leads to enhanced creativity and problem-solving? This talk focuses on the increasing evidence that, in the knowledge economy, diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones. I draw from case studies in the sciences to suggest that the value added that individuals bring to an organisation through their difference constitutes competence.

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