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IT Hiring:  Trading IT Competence for Diversity



These days organizations (government, business, media, etc.) are forced to be, or at least appear to be, "diverse", i.e. hire women and minorities and not white males, regardless of competence. And if this takes care of the shortage of IT competent workers, better still (see IT Hiring: IT Competents Demand Greater Than Supply). Further, these organizations don't care about, so skimp on, what they don't know about, like IT (see IT Hiring: Don't Care / Skimp On What You Don't Know About. So they fill many IT jobs, particularly high-visibility IT leadership jobs like Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), with IT incompetent but diverse people, particularly women (see No IT Education: "I Can Use A Smart Phone So I'm A Genius" Syndrome and No IT Education: STEM).

However, trading IT competence for diversity is a fool's bargain. If you had to choose between the two -- and often you have to -- would you trust your life to an incompetent diverse doctor/lawyer or a competent white male one? Would you trade national security for diversity?

Once these IT incompetent but diverse people are in their IT jobs, they are more interested in promoting diversity, and justifying themselves having the job, than in doing the job at all, incompetently or not. For example, Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of IT services to the U.S. Government, particularly defense and intelligence, like the National Security Agency (NSA). Susan Penfield is the "CIO" of Booz. She only has a BS in management. She spends most of her time "advocating for women in STEM careers" to justify her job.

Just like for diversity, because they are so intertwined, there is the problem of trading IT competence for political correctness; see IT Hiring: Trading IT Competence for Political Correctness.

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