Is that really what DEI schemes do?

Is that really true though?

Is Thomas Willett’s ability to be himself at work really vital? Is it true that he shouldn’t have to hide who he is?

I don’t mean specifically the azza gay man part, I mean the generalization. Is it vital for people to “be themselves” at work?

I’ve always taken the truth of this claim for granted, but today I paused to interrogate it.

I don’t think it is, at least not always, not necessarily, not regardless of what the work is or who the other workers are or what is expected of employees.

Work is not primarily a social opportunity. It’s work. Some kinds of work may go much better if the workers know each other well and get along, but lots or most kinds of work don’t depend on that. Skills matter, effort matters, attention matters…a lot of things matter more than whether or not every employee is her or his beloved self. It may be preferable for people to feel they don’t have to hide things about themselves at work but I doubt it’s always vital.

And sometimes the need goes the other way. Some people don’t want to spill much about themselves at work, especially if they’re pushed to do so.

I don’t want to go too far with this. I’m certainly not saying people should be closeted, or that nonconforming people should conform. I’m just saying don’t overstate it. No homophobia in the workplace: definitely. Being yourself at work: frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

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