I'm hoping my question is less broad than this one. I work in tech and see many emails about diversity from our upper management.
In some sense, I can see this being used as a PR tactic: management wants the company to look diverse because the shareholders care about the public image of the company and don't want it to look like some kind of exclusionary club... but how can one know if motivations for diversity and inclusion are anything more than a PR move? As far as I can tell, this is unknowable.
Moreover, assuming a company had no need for PR (maybe a large, private company with no real media presence,) would the policy of diversity and inclusion actually have any benefits over using raw meritocratic measurements in interviews? Meritocracy or a "competence hierarchy" does a fine job in allowing a person's performance to qualify him/her for a position - so why would diversity policies be needed to "augment" or replace this?
Note that I am not assuming that the recruiting process is done by biased people who only want to surround themselves with people who look alike - I am specifically asking why do unbiased people believe that some (non-PR) utility would be provided to their companies by hiring a more diverse staff instead of simply relying on meritocracy itself?
I have heard that racial/gender diversity provides a company with more "cognitive diversity" - but is such an idea valid? Do recruiters actually believe in a "latino way of thinking" or a "female way of thinking" as if they were trying to create a company culture using individuals as recipe ingredients? In my mind, it is stereotypical to judge an individual as a member of a group without knowing them personally.. but perhaps I have failed to grasp the concept of "cognitive diversity"? Thanks in advance.