Focusing as they often do on gender and ethnicity, many diversity initiatives are too tightly girdled.
Unwittingly, one assumes, high-profile solicitor Miriam González Durántez illustrated the point when she bemoaned the fact that men are able to ‘toy with unlimited options’ in their working lives, while women must often balance the office with child-rearing and other interests.
Presumably she meant women of her station in life – or ‘class’, if one might tentatively deploy that politically charged word. Men on low pay and/or zero-hour contracts don’t have unlimited choice – or any choice, often. Money brings choices.
In a rather different context, it is encouraging to see ‘less advantaged’ white applicants included in the High Court’s affirmative action programme. To be sure there are far too few women on that particular bench (just 21) and a distinctly underwhelming three people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
Those imbalances have come to seem nigh-on ineradicable – and it is time for something to be done about them which amounts to more than mere platitude. But by including in the scheme white applicants who attended state school or whose parents did not go to university, Lady Justice Hallett (pictured) has demonstrated an appropriately sophisticated approach to making the bench more representative of our society.