I’m thinking aloud here, rather than criticizing a particular event. We’re all guilty, and all need to change. But following a link on another blog to this EC conference and its 3 white male key speakers made me wonder: is it about time we tried positive discrimination?
For those unfamiliar with the idea, it’s something the Labour and Tory parties have both tried in an attempt to achieve a representative balance of MPs. ie more women, more ethnic minorities.
It’s something I’ve talked to a lot of people about at Greenbelt at their ‘brainstorming’ days for new speakers etc, and the various arguments always come up: people should be there on merit, there just aren’t the women/ethnic minorities out there who want to speak, men are just more forthright and enjoy the form more…
Trouble is, we’re left with an unchanging white male situation. And I just don’t think that’s good enough. The arguments pro positive discrimination seem strong: if you have such a policy for a while then the people will be raised up and discovered – which has certainly proved the case in parliament – and there has been such tacit discrimination pro-men for such a long time that proper action needs to be taken to redress this.
So… should people be deliberately, voluntarily making sure that for each big EC event there is a proper, representative balance? After all… wasn’t this meant to be about new forms of Church?