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Image: pixabay.com

Image: pixabay.com

by Michael L. Rosino, Devon R. Goss, and Matthew W. Hughey

One only need picture the typical American corporate boss (white, male, and wealthy) in order to conjure up the history of discrimination and inequality within the business realm. Over the past few decades, business leaders have attempted to address these problems through efforts oriented at increasing diversity. For instance, in 2014, major tech companies including Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook released their diversity statistics in reports to the media under pressure from journalists and activists. While the reports revealed the overwhelming white masculinity of the modern corporation, the companies still framed their statistics as reflecting their commitment to diversity.

The release of these reports garnered media speculation about the causes of this lack of racial and gender diversity and the implications for the future of race and gender inequalities. Alongside news publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post, articles in business media outlets such as Forbes, Businessweek, and The Wall Street Journal also weighed in on “Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem” as these elements of the 4th estate have long discussed diversity initiatives in the business world.

Despite the active discussion on the wide spectrum of abstract issues around diversity, business media outlets generally present business diversity in highly specific terms. Activists and scholars might argue that diversity—especially along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality in the business sphere—matters due to concerns about macroeconomic stability, ethical fairness, and/or social justice. However, articles published in business media outlets often discuss the merits of business diversity efforts solely in terms of the “business case” for diversity.

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by Doris Ruth Eikhof

In the past two years UK universities have frantically prepared their submissions to the sector-wide assessment of their research prowess and output, the Research Excellence Framework, or REF. They have evaluated research outputs, written about their research environment and strategy and poached star researchers from other in institutions to make themselves look good on paper. The REF submissions are being evaluated as I type and the next two years are likely to be spent dealing with the fall-out once results are announced. In the current pause between those two bouts of frantic REF-related activity, I stumbled across a voice from the past that, as so infuriatingly often, succinctly and authoritatively dealt with a key issue this round of REF posed for the first time: that of the relationship between academia and its non-academic context – let’s call it society. Read More