A princess. An orphan. A smuggler. Two droids. A large scary bear. And an awful lot of tiny adorable bears. In case you haven’t figured it out, this is the Diversity perspective of the Star Wars’ story. And how by recruiting such a diverse workforce, the Rebel Alliance was able to overcome the evil Empire.
Star Wars, a tribute to Diversity
If you rewatch the Star Wars saga through the lens of Diversity, you will see there’s a plurality of species in the Rebel Alliance. There’s, of course, Chewbacca, the Wookiee. Master Yoda, leader of the Jedi Order. Admiral Ackbar, famous for his quote “It’s a trap”. Or even the clumsy yet amusing Jar Jar Binks, just to name a few.
They are all quite different. In species, age, skills, what have you. Yet they all bring a different contribution to the table.
The same is true in companies. You need to recruit a diverse workforce. Now I’m not suggesting that you go out there and try to hire an Ewok for your team. We all know they don’t fancy office work. But you do need to be aware of our own biases when hiring.
Over selecting traits in recruitment
We recently chatted with Sam, founder of a successful Fintech startup, for our podcast Spilling the Inclusivi-tea. Sam shared that, at one point, he had everyone in the team taking a personality test. He was shocked with the results. Inadvertently, Sam had been hiring at his own image.
The team was over-indexed on a couple of personality types, out of the 16 available in that scale. You can be an advocate for Diversity. You can be aware of bias in recruitment. But without the tools to both detect and eliminate that bias, you will never be able to truly recruit a diverse workforce. And organisations need to recognise that problem, in order to fix it. Recruiting a diverse workforce needs to be more than something you aspire to. You need to put the right tools in place to achieve it.
Listen to the full episode
A diverse workforce beats an army of clones
If you keep recruiting people with the same skills you end up with an army of clones. Again, the Star Wars story provides us with a good analogy for the workforce. The evil Empire focused on a specific profile of combatant. They ended up over-indexing on StormTroopers. There are numerous battles throughout the saga where one or two Jedi battle a larger number of StormTroopers. And they do it successfully. Because of the non-diverse team flaws’, a smaller group was able to overcome them.
Which is exactly what you want in your company. To have your smaller team beating bigger and wealthier competitors.
In short, a workforce that lacks diversity is a team with lack of depth in thought process, in experience, in background.
If one person has a flaw or a dead angle in some type of skill or way of working, everybody has that flaw. And the organisation has a major flaw in that area. Thus becoming vulnerable to shifts in the landscape. Whether that’s an emerging technology that gets ignored, or a social trend not adopted by the social dominant group, etc.
The scenarios where a non-diverse group is caught off-guard are endless.
Master Jedi are known for saying "Use the Force".
I say "Use the Diversity".
Sigma Polaris is a technology platform used by companies who value diversity to identify and retain valuable employees that value it. Contact us to discover how to recruit a more diverse workforce, and be more like the Rebel Alliance.
Diversity quotes from Star Wars
- "Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our viewpoint” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
- “Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not” – Yoda
- “Smaller in number are we, but larger in mind” – Yoda
- "May Diversity be with you" - not really a Star Wars quote, but a good nonetheless