Why we need to promote socioeconomic diversity.
Sarah Green Carmichael, an editor at the Harvard Business Review, recently talked with Joan C. Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, about her new book, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America, which examines how class divisions affected the recent election. Ms. Williams contends that liberals have long been hung up on identity and cultural issues at the expense of socioeconomic ones. While she believes that eliminating racial and gender inequality is a good thing — she’s a progressive and a feminist, after all — she suggests that there’s been a blindness to class inequality, which is alive and growing in America. As one example, she points to a recent study of fictitious résumés, which found that male law students from privileged backgrounds were far more likely to get callbacks for coveted internships at top law firms than their working-class counterparts were. Socioeconomic bias is all too real, she argues, yet many corporate and college diversity efforts tend to overlook it. It’s time to expand diversity programs to include class, she tells Ms. Carmichael.