A wealthy, 1.5%-black town of 70,000 in Illinois shelled out $31,000 to a diversity consultant, which recommended more diversity initiatives even though its survey showed few employees perceived problems, and some thought there was already too much time spent on the topic.
The employees said they were more likely to face age discrimination than race discrimination. The consultant said it was a good thing that older employees would retire soon since they could be replaced with younger workers who were less likely to be racist.
On September 9, the Village of Arlington Heights, Illinois, signed a contract with The Kaleidoscope Group, a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) firm. Five months later, the firm released 15 recommendations for the Village to create a more DEI-friendly workplace.
The first recommendation called on the Village to “develop and implement a strategy for more diverse and inclusive recruitment in order to improve diverse representation for the Village.” The consulting firm says the “benchmark goal” for “diverse representation” could be “achieving parity in terms of diverse representation in Village government as compared to the community of Arlington Heights.”
Arlington Heights’s workforce is close to the demographics of its residents in nearly every racial group except Asians. According to the Village’s website, the town is 82% white, 1.5% black, 10% Asian, and 6% Hispanic. The staff is 92% white, 1% black, 0.5% Asian, and 3.4% Hispanic.
The report goes on to say that “‘being diverse’ does not mean racially matching the Village workforce with the racial and ethnic demographics of the community,” and suggests that “Rather than merely seeking to reflect the current demographics of the Arlington Heights community, the Village takes advantage of the opportunity to reflect the community you want to be in the future.”
Nonetheless, the recommendations focused largely on recruiting more ethnically diverse candidates to participate in local government and on police reform.
The Kaleidoscope Group asked that the Village create a “proactive policy” that would provide “legal remedy for bias-related, non-criminal calls for police service,” a reference to incidents like the Amy Cooper one in New York, in which white women are accused of racism for calling the police. It made the recommendation even though it acknowledged that “few to none” of such calls may have ever taken place in the village.
Per the government contract, the consulting firm asked employees to fill out a “demographic” survey that asked them about their race, disability status, and religion. “The overwhelming majority of participants in the survey who answered questions related to organizational culture indicated that they believe the Village to be a comfortable place (86.7 percent) and they feel respected at the Village of Arlington Heights (76.5 percent),” the results found.
The Kaleidoscope Group went on to recommend that the Village institute more DEI.
The survey results found that employees were four times more likely to feel discriminated against because of their age than their race. Yet Kaleidoscope appeared to rejoice in the imminent retirement of older workers, arguing that it provides the Village an opportunity to include more Millennial workers who “are more likely to reject racism (and other ‘isms’) in the workplace.”
“In terms of diversity and inclusion, this personnel situation creates an opportunity to attract a new and different talent pool that may also introduce generational diversity to the Village workforce,” the report reads. “There are 2 advantages to this: first, younger generations of workers are likely more attuned to inclusion in the workplace … Second, there is an opportunity to develop a recruitment and retention strategy for Millennial and young generation employees without increasing the overall number of positions or creating an undesired budget impact for the Village.”
The Kaleidoscope Group has worked with some of the most notably “woke” corporations such as Coca-Cola and Deloitte, as well as Northrop Grumman, Discover, McDonald’s, Progressive, and Comcast.
As part of Coca-Cola’s broader DEI campaign, it hosted online anti-racism training for employees. A whistleblower released a portion of a training telling people to “try to be less white,” though the company claims that the specific training was not part of its direct learning curriculum and was merely accessible through LinkedIn Learning.
Deloitte has instituted similar “anti-racism” training and told employees that “microaggressions” are considered a punishable offense.
Amid the burgeoning DEI industry boom, The Kaleidoscope Group was among many prominent diversity consulting firms that received hundreds of thousands in taxpayer-backed, forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
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