Diversity in The Academy

Out of the readings this week, I really enjoyed reading Kate Forbes’ piece, “Do These Earrings Make Me Look Dumb?” One of the most major points I picked up on was when she was talking about the academy needing diversity. Last semester, I took a cultural psychology course and we talked about the benefits of diversity in the workplace and how vital it is. We read and analyzed studies that showed correlations on how diversity makes workers more creative, more diligent, and harder working. When I read Forbes’ criticism of how the academy is basically filled with white- middle class individuals (and in her realm of the academic science world: mostly older white cis straight men) it brought me back to my cultural psych class. There have been many studies showing correlations of better financial performance when there is a diverse work community, including diverse CEOs. Forbes even suggests that a “diverse group of scholars are likely to consider a broader range of ideas.” I completely agree with this, because if you are around someone different than you and you need to convey your thoughts, you’re going to put more thought into your work and research rather than just present those ideas to someone who has the same viewpoint. With a more diverse group of scholars, there would be many ideas that would be expressed which would lead to more innovative and informative advances in research. Unfortunately, these advances cannot possibly be made with a majority of white middle class cis individuals. Like Forbes said, if we were to truly embrace diversity, everyone would be allowed to reach their full potential, no matter their identity.

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5 thoughts on “Diversity in The Academy

  1. During our class discussion we spoke specifically about this topic, which is diversity in the academy. I did not realize that most professions and certain work places had specific stereotypes about the types of people they hired, including their race and age. We were asked what the stereotype for our University was and most people expected that the professors would be older white men. Growing up we were taught and had to assume most of these stereotypes, but in reality a lot of them are not true. There is so much diversity across our campus, and specifically the professors I have this semester all range in age, race, and gender. I never went into a specific class assuming a certain stereotype of my professor because I knew that our campus had a pretty diverse group of people. With that being said, other college campus’s still only hire certain races and people with certain ethnic backgrounds. Most of the older and more religious Universities across the country still discriminate against people of certain races, just because of the look of that school. I agree with this blog post in the fact that having diversity is better because more ideas and viewpoints would be accessible, since people would be coming from different backgrounds.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your post because I agree that there diversity can be a major benefit to a lot of things we deal with in life. Not only can diversity help you see things with a different perspective but diversity can also help some unanswered questions that someone with the same viewpoint as you couldn’t answer. With that being said, the ‘older white male professor’ stereotype mentioned in the comment above is something that is so true that I never really noticed. My past two semesters here I have had professors from all over the spectrum, which I think actually helped me in a way. One of my professors was from Japan and he also linked some of our lessons to how things are seen differently in Japan etc. It made me see that everyone sees things so differently and if we all put our minds together great things could be the result.

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  3. I really enjoyed this discussion during class because a lot of people seemed to agree that the stereotypes that society has pushed on everyone are not true. I also thought it was interesting to hear that most people who had more creative majors (like fashion) did not know that the old white cishet male professor was the norm for majors related to science. I think that diversity is a necessity in life on a social level and on a structural level. Structurally everything needs diversity. In bio class during freshman year in high school we learned about how the diversity in species and plants helped the ecosystems survive. I feel like the same is true for our society. I do not think that we are nearly as diverse in the media than it needs to be but I really hope that it improves in the future.

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  4. I picked this post to comment on because i couldn’t agree more with what you said. Diversity in every aspect, in my opinion, is the best way to go. Although the classes I take have exposed me to a variety of teachers from different cultures, I have noticed a pattern throughout each department. I also have hands on first hand experience from working at a day care with all women, myself being the youngest employee. There is only one male figure in the building and that is our bus driver/cook. In my opinion I think having more male figures in the building would benefit not only my fellow co-workers but also our children that we care for. I think everyone could benefit from diversity because it forces people to do a lens shift and try to see things from someone else’s perspective. I know for myself I think I do my best work when I am required to take a walk in someone else’s shoes. I love learning about things other people deal with and how other people see and do things because compared to the grand scheme of things I have not had many experiences pertaining to other cultures and backgrounds. I think diversity is good in a workplace also to help progression and advancements in the work place pertaining to the way things are done. It adds so many different perspectives to problem solving and helps create different ways of doing something. So therefore all in all I think your post was extremely accurate and I think you said your point extremely well. I think Forbes’ piece does well in expressing the need for diversity in the academy. I think it is supported by many and that almost everyone if not everyone who reads it could agree with the things Kate Forbe’s ,mentions in her post.

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